The Forum had three keynote addresses – one from a well-known global happiness expert, one from an authority on Indian management and ancient wisdom, one from the leading happiness researcher in India, and four-panel discussions from Industry Leaders, CHROs, L&D Heads, and Employee Well-Being Heads.
The Forum started with a keynote by the leading researcher on Happiness in India and sought-after trainer on happiness, Prof Rajesh Pillania, MDI, Gurgaon, and Chief Advisor Happiness Strategy Foundation. He raised five fundamental questions on the current practice of happiness at the workplace, including why strategy is the right domain for happiness and why the inclusion of happiness in the selection and promotion matters.
It was followed by an expert keynote from the World-Famous Global Scholar in Occupational Health and Wellness Research, Sir Cary Cooper, on workplace happiness. He analyzed data from UK Employers to deduce how the mental health of employees could be a critical business issue to the employer and how intrinsic is it to the job. He further discussed the antecedents of good mental health and advised how that can contribute to the organization’s bottom line.
In the panel discussion on the role of workplace happiness, insights and experiences were the main essences of the panel discussion consisting of industry leaders that included six leaders from diverse industries, namely, Megha Tata, Managing Director of Discovery Communications India; Ruchi Kapoor, Managing Director of Swarovski India and the Middle East (till recently); Manoj Kohli, Country Head, Softbank India; Kaushik Shaparia, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Bank India; Pravin Goel, Managing Director, and Country Head India BlackRock Inc.; and Rana Barua, Group CEO Havas Group. It was moderated by Prof Rajesh K Pillania. The industry leaders introduced themselves in a fun and happy way and shared a lot of interesting insights on workplace happiness, such as the need for purpose, the importance of celebrations of even small achievements, cultivating a sense of humour, leadership supporting the team even during tough times such as COVID, the importance of fitness, empathy, and compassion for workplace happiness.
In the panel discussion on Employee Happiness and Experience, the role of WellBeing Heads in employee happiness was discussed. The panel consisted of experts like Vaibhav Goel, Group Head HR 2.0 of Reliance Industries Ltd.; Arti Kashyap, Global Head, Health and Wellbeing, Ocado Group; and Rajesh Rai, Vice President – People and India Head HR, for GlobalLogic India. Under the moderation of Prof Rajesh K Pillania, the experts shared fascinating insights on the role of employee wellbeing in the organization and also shared personal experiences that tend to keep them on the toes.
Thereafter the panel of Learning Heads had a discussion on spreading happiness among employees. One fascinating insight was that learning heads could help in learning happiness as a skill. This panel included four industry experts, namely, Sandeep Das, Senior Director, Head – Learning & Development, JLL India; Indraneel Kumar Das, Global Head Learning & Development, Kohler Co.; Mussarrat Hussain, Head Leadership and Functional School, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.; and Nitin Thakur, Head Learning and Development, Jindal Stainless. The discussion was a very personable and amiable one where the experts also shared their definition of happiness and what shaped their thought towards workplace happiness. On a lighter note, Mr. Hussain also shared that his first name is ‘Happiness’, which sparked a happy environment during the panel discussion.
The last panel was that of the CHROs on their role in inducing workplace happiness. The panel consisted of industry experts like Shrikant Lonikar, CHRO, and Director on Board of Pernod Ricard India; Joyeeta Chatterjee, Chief People Officer, Future Consumer Ltd.; and Anand Rao, Head HR, TRIGO Quality Production Services. They shared many profound insights and personal experiences, such as the importance of the involvement of families of employees in happiness initiatives, an important role of different functional heads in happiness and not just the HR department, and the importance of employee’s contributions in the workplace happiness.
The final but very insightful keynote was delivered by Indian Management Stalwart and Pioneer of the Indian Management Movement, Dharm Pracharak and Padma Bhushan Dr. Mrityunjay B. Athreya, PhD (Harvard). The Ex-Professor of London Business School & of IIM-Calcutta showered his experience by discussing Strategies for making happy managers and workers separately and the need for measurement of happiness. He also shared insights on the true meaning of happiness. Later in answer to a question, he shared that happiness should start from the vision and not just be a part of the HR domain.
Overall, the day ended on a happy note with so much insight to absorb and instigate happiness. The participants asked a lot of challenging questions and thoroughly enjoyed the Forum. They were looking forward to India Workplace Happiness Strategy Forum 2022!
Also, in the Gurugram Happiness Festival, 2021, Delhi Happiness Festival 2021, and Mumbai Happiness Festival 2021, industry leaders and media and entertainment experts discussed and shared profound insights on happiness in the particular city, including Workplace Happiness, Role of CSR, and Role of Entertainment and Media.