Do You Believe in ‘Happiness Hours’?

Happy people are the most productive

Happy people are the most productive

I totally endorse the new initiative from the Dubai Health Authority in introducing ‘happiness hours’ for hard working employees who complete their tasks to a high standard: the reward being that they will be allowed to leave work three hours early once a month.

Of course, the key to employee motivation with increased performance and productivity is dependent upon excellent management initiatives and good communications.

Provided that leaders appreciate and value their teams, then they will find they have a more engaged and inspired workforce who will always give of their best.

Phrases that increase performance and productivity

However, often the challenge is that many managers rarely know how to give praise and, therefore,  a simple ‘thank you’ or ‘you’ve done really well and I appreciate that’…is rarely said.

      'Thank you...','I appreciate what you have done','Well done'...

If managers bring this language into the average working day, they will find that they will have happy workers with enhanced engagement and increased productivity.

On the other hand, where employees feel like they are merely ‘a number’, then all the ‘happiness hours’ in the world will not help!

We know that managing people is not easy. If leaders don’t have the necessary vital communication skills, then they need to be trained to develop this skillset as part of their leadership portfolio.

Communications is key to a successful business! To motivate its workforce, the DNA has to train its managers, at all levels, to recognise that the company’s most important asset is its human resource.

Book Carole as a Motivational Speaker Now!  She will deliver a charismatic, high-impact keynote presentation at your next conference. 

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How to fast-track your promotion

Most people want to get on in life and improve their career prospects but in the competitive workplace in which we work, promotional prospects are not always easy to achieve.


So, in order to o successfully advance your career may mean embracing an approach that is less about you and more about your colleagues, team leaders and the specific organisation within which you work.

Build empathy with your boss

If your immediate boss feels that you have empathy with his, or her, challenges as well as their successes, they are more likely to want to see you also succeed.   It is important that you are aware of their interests and what motivates and inspires them.  Be aware that people tend to favour those who share their aims and objectives. Continue reading


Holidays without Stress

Unrealistic demands and deadlines, work overloads, poor communication, out-of-date equipment and/or staff shortages lead to pressure that often turns into stress.  However, it’s not usually connected with holidays – or is it?

'Show Stress Who's Boss!' provides tools and strategies that will show you how to deawl with stress.

Discover 4 Easy Ways to Beat Stress Today!

In reality, holidays and your everyday work are interconnected and depending whether your holiday break is good, or bad, will impact on how well you are able to manage pressure at your work, i.e. to be able to prevent normally stimulating pressure from turning into harmful stress that can cause mental and physical damage.  In this age of short deadlines and long hours, you need to compensate by taking frequent breaks as an essential re-charging tactic, and when you do so, it’s really important to switch-off completely and not be tempted to check your email every minute!  I certainly think that emailing has become an addiction instead of a communication tool. However, the fact remains that your mind needs that break as well as your body. Continue reading


Working with a boss you don’t like!

The Essential Guide for Managing Stress

The Essential Guide for Managing Stress

‘I really dislike my new boss!’ Mena commented to me in her office the other day.  So what should you do if you really don’t get on with your immediate manager?

One alternative might be to ask for a transfer to another department but that is not always possible and, in any event, you could lose seniority and slow down your career progression.

There is no question that in a situation in which you experience a personality clash with your boss, it is recommended that you try every possible strategy to resolve the situation to make it workable.  Always remember that changing jobs can take you to another company in which there may be problems with your new boss!  Then what? Continue reading


How to make your own luck!

work stress, keynote speaker, how to deal with stress, anxiety, stress symptoms, signs and symptoms of stress, stress free, Show Stress Who's Boss!, carole spiers, stress management, stress & anxiety, symptoms of stress, stress management techniques, stress-free, stress symptoms, de stress, wellbeing, mental health

4 Easy Ways to Deal with Stress

At a dinner party the other evening, we were debating whether we were born lucky or was it that we make our own luck.  My own sense is that we can create our own good fortune by taking control of our own life and being aware and receptive to opportunities that come our way, at various times.  It is also about recognising that there is far more going ‘for’ us than ‘against’ us.   By recognising chances that are ‘for’ you and acting upon the options that are presented, you’ll be able to achieve many of your aspirations.

Even those individuals who are sceptical, have every opportunity to create their own luck.  Being ready to seize opportunities when they present themselves is up to every one of us.  Whatever our age or situation in life, it is never too late to exercise control by identifying choices and then choosing those that will benefit us. Of course, sometimes we may make the wrong choice but we can rectify that by then making another! Continue reading


What is your legacy?

stress, motivational speaker, UAE, keynote speaker, keynote presentation

Author of Show Stress Who’s Boss

With the death of Nelson Mandela, it is not difficult to see the legacy that he leaves behind.  Here was a leader who believed in the essential freedom of man from oppression and for these beliefs he was incarcerated in prison for over 27 years: yet upon his release he sought to take no revenge upon those who took away nearly a third of his life.

A Great Statesman

This was a great statesman who had the mental strength to not only survive his unparalleled ordeal but to gain eventual victory over those oppressors who sought unsuccessfully to silence him and the millions he represented.

He was a leader in the true sense of the word; he always remained humble; he stood up for justice; he taught us the power of forgiveness and he showed us that people can be supremely resilient in times of need. Continue reading


Would You Work for Nothing?

stress, motivational speaker, UAE, keynote speaker, keynote presentation

Author of Show Stress Who’s Boss

Of course, there are many people who do work for no money.  They are termed voluntary workers, or volunteers and there are countless such individuals who take on and enjoy that role.  Their satisfaction is derived from helping others and not from any financial reward. The reward that makes a difference to the life of another human being is enough for them.  However, there is a debate as to whether people really do things for purely altruistic reasons or whether there is also an inner benefit for themselves.

I remember when I worked in the evenings as a volunteer for the Samaritans (an international crisis helpline), for over 20 years, that the satisfaction I received in helping someone in a personal crisis, far outweighed any remuneration.

Job Satisfaction Survey

This week, I was sent a survey into job satisfaction and the results showed that money does not necessarily bring happiness.  One in ten workers said they ‘loved’ their job so much that they would do it for nothing and researchers discovered that 11% claim they would carry on working even if they were not paid! One in eight of those in poorly paid jobs said they were very happy in their work, compared with just nine per cent of higher earners. It was also interesting to read that this study, which polled more than 8,000 workers including 1,968 in Britain, found that younger workers were apparently the least happy.

So where are you on the ‘job satisfaction’ scale?  Well, I guess you will say that you can’t love your job all the time and of course you are right. There will be tasks you enjoy doing and things you don’t. That is the nature of our day-to-day job. The question is, are you generally happy, overall?  Do you have a ‘spring’ in your step when you go to work or do you have to pull yourself out of bed as you reluctantly have to face another day at the office?  An interesting question. 

Now I can already hear some of you saying that satisfaction is a nice to have but not a necessity and of course the job needs to get done, whether you like it or not.  But think of how much more efficient and enjoyable your role would be if you really loved what you do – which reminds me of the well-known line from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, which says, ‘work is love made visible’.

And then whose responsibility is it to try and encourage their employees to love their work rather than just having to ‘get through it’?  I would argue that this is a joint responsibility. The employer who doesn’t value the individual who works for them and makes that clear to them, will probably not have an employee who feels happy in what they do.  After all, we all usually like to think that we are doing a good job.  On the other hand, there is the employee who is always complaining about their work but never takes any action to try to improve their situation. The result is a dysfunctional workplace in which both the employer and employee contribute to a work environment that is counter-productive and expensive in terms of efficiency and health and which invariably results in competitive disadvantage.

If you are that employer, then what can you do about it?  Well, you can do nothing and accept the status quo or you can make a decision to find out by taking a ‘satisfaction survey’ of all staff members and employees throughout your organisation to determine how everyone feels about their individual job. The imperative for any business is to get the most out of all those who work for you, on any level.

As an employee, you should take responsibility for what you do and don’t like about your job.  Assess each point carefully and see what changes could be made; what support you might need and what training would be helpful; then start to implement those changes.

We don’t go through our lives always being happy.  Sometimes, we have to make happiness find us. We need to take action to gain the maximum satisfaction for, and from, our lives.

Key Points

  • An efficient organisation has a satisfied workforce
  • Your human resource is your most important resource
  • Value those who work for you and they will work twice as hard

Written by Carole Spiers and reprinted with the kind permission of Gulf News.



Be Stress-Free. HelpYour Team Find Focus

Carole Spiers, Gulf News Columnist.  Motivational Speaker

Ahmed is a 30 year old assistant in the cleaning services section of a large hospital and takes great pride in his work. Although he is often told that he is a pedant, he is happy with that description because he is aware that he has high expectations of himself and never leaves a job unfinished. One day, Ahmed was called into his manager’s office to be told that a new employee named Ravi, was to be a new member of his team. His manager fully explained to Ahmed the reasons for the new position and Ravi’s appointment.

However, when Ravi started work, instead of being on time, he was ten minutes late and from therein it went from bad to worse. He appeared to have little pride in what he was doing and did not adhere to the specified cleaning procedures laid down within his own job description. Continue reading


Are you a champion?

Carole Spiers, Motivational Speaker

Carole Spiers, Gulf News Columnist, Motivational Speaker

At London’s Wimbledon, Scotland’s No 1 tennis player, Andy Murray, ended Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s champion with a hard-fought victory over world’s top-ranked player, Novak Kjokovic, from Serbia.

Murray, 26, converted his fourth championship point in a dramatic game to win 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 to claim his second major title. Supported by a home crowd of 15,000 spectators, Murray, was watched on TV by a peak of 17.3 million viewers, making it the most watched TV moment of 2013. Continue reading


Accountability is a State of Mind

People may want to be leaders, however not many want to accept the accountability that goes with it. However, you cannot have one without the other as they are the two sides of the same coin.

Last week, I was in a meeting with a client, the CEO of a London company who said to me ‘I wish my people would accept responsibility for their own actions and personal behaviour, instead of trying to shift the blame elsewhere’. He said that the most important quality that he looks for in an employee seeking promotion is the acceptance of personal accountability. However, he also said that several of his managers, over the years, had not fully realised when they accepted a managerial position that it also included the consequences of taking responsibility when things went wrong.

‘The Buck Stops Here’

The former US President, Harry S Truman, kept a sign on his desk which read: ‘The buck stops here!’ It means that you accept the responsibility for whatever happens in your department under your watch.

Every organisation needs to maintain a culture of personal accountability. Unaccountable people are full of excuses as they explain that they were unaware of the situation, or that some other individual was responsible for the error. They are always quick to complain about something going wrong but are invariably slow in their response to do anything about it.

A lack of accountability is unhealthy in any organisation and many managers leave this type of company because they cannot work in an environment in which no-one will take ownership of their own actions.

Accountability means that you accept the consequences of your decisions – not forgetting, both good and bad. It means more than just performing your specific role. It includes an ability to work for the common good and ultimately to further the goals of the organisation. Continue reading