request our brochure

Happiness at work: the next corporate big wave

February 16, 2022

“The corporate world has always been made of people. If people always seek to be happy, why not talk about happiness inside corporations?”. That’s Dani Plesnik’s main claim as Talent Director at Deloitte Brasil. Having started as a trainee, and worked with taxes for 15 years, Dani spent two years working in the Atlanta office in the US and then went back to Brazil to take care of her people – in her own words. “Taking care of people with dynamism, innovation, data and being happy is my drive”.

For Dani, after D&I and Sustainability, Happiness will become the next great wave to take the corporate world. And she is already making it happen. The Talent Director helped to create a corporate happiness program at Deloitte Brasil. The initiative is based on workshops and conversation circles in three stages: awareness-raising (initial contact with the topic), training (deepening of concepts and exercises), and multiplication (training of professionals as multipliers of the topic in the company). The goal is to impact 90% of the workforce by May 2022.

Recent research by Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, in collaboration with British multinational telecoms firm BT, has found a conclusive link between happiness and productivity. The paper found that workers are 13% more productive when happy.

Dani Plesnik believes emotionally safe environments are the key to success, which is based on trust, respect, and, mainly, connections. That’s why she implemented the so-called ‘stay interview’, a tool to figure out what makes employees stay at the company – and improve it: “Who am I to find what others want? We start putting it on the agenda and changing the way we lead. We leave the default ‘I know what people want: salary’. People do want a salary, and it is indisputable. But they want much more than this. And we will only understand this if there is space for debate”.

Activities, dynamics, and simple techniques are being used at Deloitte, just like the ‘check-in rates’. From 1 to 10, employees in a meeting rate how they are doing that day. And, according to Dani, the empathy and compassion that comes up from colleagues amid a grade of 5, for instance, is positively surprising. 

“This is an emotionally safe environment. You don’t change a culture in a few hours. It’s constant work”, says Dani.

The executive was the second guest of WIN World Newsroom’s new series of interviews: BR Talks. Every two weeks, a new name will show what Brazilian leaders have to inspire and share with the world (click here to watch the episode).


Source: Saïd Business School