How to create an action plan

Happiness at work results from your own actions, those of other employees, and the organisation itself. Let’s begin with exploring your individual results and developing your action plan to be happier at work. Later on, your team or organisation may explore these results and develop related action plans. Starting with the here and now, you can use your results to think about the details of your day-to-day working life that are within your control. Are there changes to what you do or the way you do things that would improve your happiness at work?

Using the guide below, you can create an action plan in four simple steps.

1. Look at your results

First, look through your results again. You can use either the happiness landscape for a broad view or the dynamic model to identify the interconnections between different risk and strength areas. Take notice of what is going well (the greens) and what isn’t going too well (the reds). Our list of your best and worst five scores can help you here but also look out for what ‘strikes a chord’ or ‘rings true’ for you.

2. Brainstorm ideas

Next think about how you can build on the greens, improve the ambers and address the reds. Give space to your insights. It is often really helpful to brainstorm with someone else – a friend or a colleague – because they can act as a sounding board. At this stage no idea is too crazy. Just make a note of all your ideas.

Put them in a list and note which greens, ambers, reds and/or insights each idea addresses. Notice that some ideas might address several issues simultaneously.

Also note which ideas…

  • you could carry out on your own
  • you could carry out with the help of others or extra resources
  • you require other people to carry out

3. Prioritise

Look at your list of ideas:

  • Which ones feel the most easily achievable?
  • Which ones feel the most important?
  • Which ones do you have the most interest in or energy for?

Choose between three and five of the ideas. Choose at least one that is easily achievable. Choose at least one that feels very important. Choose at least one that you have a lot interest in or energy for.

For each of your chosen ideas decide what you have to do to put them into action. Make a note of these steps. Set yourself a realistic target for when you are going to start doing each step.

4. Get started!

Try things out. Do more of what works and set aside what doesn’t. It is important not to try to change too much all at once. Check back to your master list and update it to reflect how you are doing. Maybe new ideas will come to you – that’s great! Add them to the plan.

Your happiness at work action plan can be a living, changing, flexible one. But remember creating happier work doesn’t just happen magically – it will require some effort…