People who are happier at work are more committed to their organization, rise to positions of leadership more rapidly, are more productive and creative, and suffer fewer health problems. More and more, research is suggesting that happiness should not be an afterthought for workplaces; it should be an essential goal, entwined with the kinds of 21st century skills that are key to individual and organizational success today. But how can you increase happiness at work within yourself and across your organization?
In the Science of Happiness at Work Professional Certificate program, you will learn the hallmarks and benefits of a happy workplace, and you’ll come away with concrete, research-based strategies you can implement—individually or in teams—to boost your own emotional well-being, support the well-being of colleagues and employees, and foster a workplace culture of happiness. All lessons in the program are based on the most up-to-date scientific research, particularly from the fields of psychology, business, and neuroscience.
Over its three courses, the program will explain why happiness matters for your workplace; offer specific practices for fostering positive emotions like gratitude; help you build resilience to stress, particularly through the practice of mindfulness; and teach the importance of positive, trusting, collaborative relationships at work, drawing on the skills of empathy and emotional intelligence. Woven throughout the courses will be special tips for workplace leaders, helping them understand how to build a positive organizational culture through socially intelligent leadership.
The program will be taught by expert faculty from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center (GGSC), a leading authority on the science of happiness. They will build on insights from the GGSC’s Science of Happiness MOOC, the global phenomenon that has brought this science to half a million students worldwide. This new program will zero in on the particular challenges—and opportunities—in bringing a greater sense of happiness and meaning to your life at work. Insights from leading scientific studies will be distilled into actionable lessons, and they will be brought to life by real-world case studies.
In completing this program, you’ll not only be better equipped to identify the level of happiness within your organization and help colleagues understand why happiness is a worthwhile goal. You’ll also be equipped to support engagement and productivity within your organization and strengthen your sense of belonging, purpose, meaning, and satisfaction—not only at the office but in your life as a whole.
Courses under this program: Course 1: The Foundations of Happiness at Work
Learn why happiness at work matters and how to increase it within yourself and across your organization.
Course 2: Mindfulness and Resilience to Stress at Work
Learn research-based strategies to help you foster mindfulness, handle stress, and guard against burnout.
Course 3: Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work
Learn research-based skills to strengthen empathy and trust, improve collaboration, and create more innovative, productive, and satisfying experiences at work.
This course explains what happiness at work looks like, why it matters, and how to cultivate it.
It begins by defining happiness and making the case that happiness at work improves the performance of individual employees and organizations as a whole, increasing innovation, productivity, engagement, retention, and the quality of their work. It then explores the key factors that empirical research has linked to workplace happiness, zeroing in on practices such as gratitude, developing a strong sense of purpose, and forming authentic, cooperative connections with others. The course will also highlight common barriers to workplace happiness, both at the individual and cultural level.
Finally, the course presents a practical framework for workplace happiness and explores accessible techniques for: a) evaluating happiness in an organization, b) creating an effective strategy to increase workplace happiness, and c) implementing that strategy in your own work life, within your team, or across the culture of your organization, with special tips for workplace leaders.
The course instructors are expert faculty from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., whose earlier edX course, The Science of Happiness, has been a global phenomenon, introducing a half million students worldwide to the research-based keys to a happy, meaningful life. In this course, they tailor their scientific insights to the needs of the modern workplace.
Stress, anxiety, and burnout are rampant across workplaces today: 80 percent of workers feel stress on the job, and nearly half say they need help learning how to manage it. While many organizations may assume that intense stress is unavoidable, even admirable, research suggests that too much stress is toxic to our health and performance, leading to burnout and harming the culture of organizations as a whole.
This course offers research-based strategies for building resilience to stress and fortifying our well-being in the face of challenges. It explains the biological and psychological impact of stress, helps you distinguish between harmful and helpful forms of stress at work, and provides strategies for handling stress in healthy and productive ways.
The course zeroes in on the practice of mindfulness, the moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations that comes without judging those thoughts and feelings as good or bad. In recent years, there has been a surge in scientific research on mindfulness, with many studies documenting the value and advantages of fostering mindfulness in workplace settings. This course covers the landscape of mindfulness science, explains why it’s relevant to modern workplaces, and describes how it can be effectively folded into your workplace, drawing on case studies from several major companies that have implemented their own mindfulness programs.
The course instructors are expert faculty from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., whose earlier edX course, The Science of Happiness, has been a global phenomenon, introducing a half million students worldwide to research-based practices of mindfulness and related skills of stress reduction. In this course, they tailor their scientific insights to the needs of the modern workplace, highlighting stories of success from trailblazing organizations while also identifying challenges that workplaces may face as they try to foster mindfulness and resilience.
One of the key insights from the science of happiness is that our own personal happiness depends heavily on our relationships with others. By tuning into the needs of other people, we actually enhance our own emotional well-being. The same is true within organizations: those that foster trusting, cooperative relationships are more likely to have a more satisfied, engaged—and more productive and innovative—workforce, with greater employee loyalty and retention.
This course delves into the social and emotional skills that sustain positive relationships at work. It highlights the foundational and related skills of empathy and “emotional intelligence,” also known as EQ, which refers to the skills of identifying and regulating our own feelings, tuning into the feelings of others and understanding their perspectives, and using this knowledge to guide us toward constructive social interactions.
Drawing on research and real-world case studies, the course reveals how honing these skills promotes well-being within an organization, supporting everything from good management—managers high in empathy, for example, have employees who report being happier and take fewer sick days—to more effective teamwork, problem solving, and recovery from setbacks. The course also explains the psychological and neuroscientific roots of cooperative, compassionate behaviors, making the case that these are not just “soft” skills but core aspects of human nature that serve basic human needs as well as the bottom line.
What’s more, it offers practical ways to strengthen empathy, trust, and collaboration among teams and resolve conflicts more constructively—with a special emphasis on how socially intelligent leadership can build cultures of belonging and engagement.
The course instructors are expert faculty from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., whose earlier edX course, The Science of Happiness, has been a global phenomenon, inspiring a half million students worldwide. Here they take a central insight from that course—that our personal well-being is entwined with our social connections—and explain how to apply it to the modern workplace to create more productive, satisfying experiences at work.