Who is Kasia Kern?
My name is Kasia. I am the first Chief Happiness Officer in Poland. I studied Psychology and I was working as HR director for 17 years in Polish and international companies (Sheraton Hotel Group, Alexander Mann Solutions, Sabre Inc, 4F). I am a facilitator and a coach and in 2018 I decided to open my own business to help other companies and institution in Poland to become Happier. Currently I do HR consulting, Keynote and Conference Speeches on Happiness, Workshops on Happiness at Work for HR and Leaders, Facilitation Workshops and many other trainings which are helping to transform organizational culture. I am also running a blog, working as an Executive and Individual Coach and I am initiator and head teacher for Happiness at Work at HR Business Partner School.
Why did you choose this career path?
I was always interested in how to build and transform companies to make them best places to work. While, working as HR leader, I was proudly picking up award of the best place to work in Poland (GPTW Institute) three times. I strongly believe that happy employees are the most important asset to each company, and companies with happy employees are making positive impact on the world.
Why are you happy at work?
I am happy, because I see real difference which I am making with my clients. Their satisfaction and happiness are bringing me a lot of my own happiness. I am also very happy that I have many great supporters all over the world. I met Chief Happiness Officers from other countries (one of them are Maja and Petra from Paleta Znanj) during Woohoo Inc Conference and Workshop and being able to share with them my ideas, and exchange our work is really great feeling being part of something meaningful and something which can influence world for better.
On a scale from 1 to 10 – how Happy@Work are you?
I can say that within the scale 1 to 10, I am happy at 9. I am currently working on my own, while cooperating with some of other companies and people on different subjects. I am currently realizing my dreams, learning a lot and having a lot of fun. Somebody said: “Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness”. I feel like I have both 😊. Why not 10? I will be at 10 when I will see that Happiness at Work is becoming important part of strategy of each company in Poland. I am working to make it happen.
How do you spread Happiness@Work concept with your work?
I usually make Happiness part of the Leadership and Employees Trainings, as well as including it in the communication. It is important that on all levels employees in the company realize what it is, how to improve and why it is worth it. When everybody has a foundation of their understanding of the happiness, I am using facilitation (which I fall in love few years ago and can’t do HR anymore without it) which is an amazing method to help people be more productive and build stronger relationships. Often, I am also reviewing some practices with HR people to make sure we really invest in Happiness.
Are your clients happy or unhappy organizations? What are your findings with your work with them?
I work and cooperate with several companies, which were not exactly happy. What I found, especially in the smaller companies, is that they are only or mainly focused on results, not on relationships. And why they are quite small, relationships are established, and it is fine, but when they grow and hire more people, without proactive focus on relationships, companies are often failing on this topic. There is impossible to build Happy companies if you are not focusing on those two important factors: Results and Relationships.
Is Happiness@Work or positive organizational culture a strategic priority in your country’s organizations?
For many companies which I am working with in Poland, Happiness at Work is a new topic, so rarely it is strategic priority. But because there is very low unemployment and real fight for the talents on the job market, engagement and employee motivation is coming high on the priority list. Therefore, I believe that happiness will be next.
What is your ROI experience with investing in Happiness@Work?
After several speeches and workshop on this topic, I saw attitude change within leadership groups and often even in CEO. This is definitely the right step. It is too early in Poland to say yet about real return on investment, but as we see many examples about it from different countries, I don’t think we will wait long for strong results.
What to do when employee is having a bad day?
In my opinion, bad days at work will happen in every, even the happiness workplaces. But it every bad day there is something good. The most important is to be able to focus on good and trying to influence what causing the bad moments or bad situation. As long as employees and leaders feel that they have influence and they have a direction, making a positive change is always something worth to do.
What are your future plans or vision?
Right now I am focused to build Chief Happiness Officers community in Poland and I want to make a positive change in polish organisations with them. My goal is to teach them, support them and brainstorm with them and making a long list of all great ideas which work in Poland.
Your advice or message to employers on Happiness@Work? Why is it worth a try and the “trouble” of bringing it into business?
I believe in current workplaces, where people are working on very complex business problems and often communicating virtually, happiness at work is becoming incredibly important connection between them. Productivity and Creativity are key in the current business success. As a researcher showing happy employees are the one who are more productive, engage and creative. So, I would advice not wait, just discover happiness, and it will bring you added value not only to your business, but also your entire life.
You can follow Kasia on:
www: http://kasiakern.pl/ and http://Chiefhappinessofficer.pl