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Shuchi Gangwal

Shuchi Gangwal is the Owner & Prinicipal Designer at Kypsa. Based in Mumbai, Kypsa is an innovation & activation design studio which believes that design, if applied with a purpose can be used as a strategic tool to ‘BRING ALIVE’ product benefits to establish differentiation that delights end-users.

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7 Learnings from Disneyland to Make Our Workplaces Happy

“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” ― Walter E. Disney

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A workplace with a happy and engaged environment not only boosts employee productivity but it results in more profitability, higher share growth, and higher staff retention. But the question lies here? How to make our workplaces happy? What’s better way to learn it from none other than but Disneyland which is non-arguably one of the happiest places in this world. It has successfully established a happy relation between human beings and mysteries of imagination & happiness through experience design! It’s one of the best examples of spreading happiness by combining imagination & reality centered on human emotions & aspirations. We can take a lot of inspiration and HAPPIFICATION tips from this fantasy land to make our workplaces - happier spaces.

1) Use the model of anticipation-experience-memory!- Disney wonderfully creates an exemplary model, which not only delivers a great live experience, but it starts from the stage of anticipation & lives with you in form of memories. We can make our work places such - by enduring every experience and talking about them. Time set aside to discuss individual experiences helps in building memories, something which stays with you in form of positive emotions!

2) Re-discover the child –Disney makes everybody a child - irrespective of their age. It makes one indulge in the activities of childhood that make us smile. Encourage teams to practice "unlearn" & "learn". Encourage explorations at work, let people be free spirited like a child who does not come with any pre-conceived ideas & judgements - his solutions to problems are often empathetic, simple, feasible & innovative!

3) Embrace and enjoy the different rides – We all accept the feeling of fear, anxiety, freedom & thrill while exploring the adventure in the different rides at Disney. Workplaces offer different situations and experience everyday making it difficult sometimes for an employee to respond. To avoid the hesitation, workplaces should encourage the concept of adaptability. This will not only make an employee perceive different work situations as a roller coaster ride full of highs and lows but also further encourage to embrace the situations like a pro.

4) Make everybody feel special - At Disney, all little girls are addressed as "princess" and all little boys are called "prince". This recognition helps them feel belonged & be a part of the fairyland! Likewise, recognition in workplaces is important. This can be done by addressing people’s skills, knowledge and what sets them apart from rest. Also, it can be done with quirky practices such as addressing people with nicknames etc. which will create that special bonding between the place & the individual.

5) Gratification & appreciation – “Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” ― Walter E. Disney

Walter E. Disney, under whose direct supervision the only theme park Disneyland got designed and build too acknowledged the importance of gratification and appreciation. Appreciation is the best form of encouragement. It not only makes people happy but also motivates them to outdo themselves.

6) Happify surroundings –
The very surroundings, rainbow colors & theme corners – make you fall in love with this wonderland. Colors infuse energy, pace & often set the mood of the place. Encourage people to do up their workstations. People want to come back - when they curate their little spaces and have a little bit of their signature out there!

7) Surprise is really the key to delight - What makes us happy in Disney land is the element of surprise at every step of engagement. Similarly, happiness interventions are the perfect opportunity to infuse an important element of surprise. Little things that make us happy are required to make others happy too. Doing those little things that employees do not expect can cultivate a happy work culture that makes them go that extra little mile at work.

As it is aptly said - "Some people look for happy places, others make the place happy". Make your workplace a happy and thus a healthy one.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house



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