Why Happiness Matters: Workplace Productivity & Profitability

South Africa’s only happiness-at-work conference to reveal how and why happy employees affect the bottom line


15th October, Johannesburg. There is compelling evidence that it pays to invest in your employees’ happiness. Research findings are clear that happier employees are more productive, which improves your bottom line. The happiest employees have 65% more energy, spend twice as much time on task, and intend to stay in their job 4 times longer, according to the iOpener Institute.

But what does “being happy” at work actually mean? Why is happiness considered the antidote to poor performance? Isn’t “happiness” just a fuzzy concept? Should workforce “happiness” be on your agenda in the current tough economic climate? What does making happy employees mean in real terms for business leaders and managers? What are the challenges faced by South African organisations in particular?

South Africa’s only happiness-at-work conference returns to Johannesburg this December for the fourth time, hosted by Business Results Group (BRG) and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). This year’s event in Johannesburg will bring participants up to speed with all aspects behind workforce happiness – its theory, its value and its challenges – for managers, teams and individuals. Speakers will include Dr Tara Swart, the British neuroscience expert and business coach, Katie Demain, Africa’s foremost expert in workplace happiness, Buyani Zwane, CEO of Breakthrough Development, Dr Barbara Holtmann, social transformation expert, Jayshree Naidoo, who heads the Standard Bank Incubator, Victor Kgomoeswana, business author, speaker and consultant, and lateral thinking evangelist Nicola Tyler. The event will be MC’d by the infamous Lebo Mashile, poet and performer, who will use storytelling to weave a golden thread of happiness throughout the day.

If your employees find joy and meaning in what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis, there are strong odds that this will benefit your profit margin. To shape a happy workforce, you need to listen to them, appreciate them, support them, and empower them to use their strengths,” says Nicola Tyler, CEO of Business Results Group.

The Happiness-at-Work Conference takes place on 4th December at The Forum, Bryanston, Johannesburg. The event content is aimed at line and divisional managers, team managers, HR directors and HR business partners, as well as any other learning and development specialists. Last year’s “Science of Happiness at Work™ ” conference sold out with executives and managers from the private and public sectors participating. Natasha Rudy, Director at The People Strategies says that last year’s event was “Brilliant. Learnt so much. Lots of tools and ideas to implement in the workplace. Very interesting, engaging and brilliant presenters”

The Happiness at Work Conference is brought to South Africa by Business Results Group and the Gordon Institute of Business Science.
Registrations and Further Information

To register for the event or for press enquiries please contact:
Angela Milburn | Email: rsvp@brg.co.za | Cell: 0833271593 | Phone: 0861247328
You can also visit the event listing at //www.brg.co.za/speakers/happiness-at-work-2015

Speaker Bios

About Dr Tara Swart, CEO, The Unlimited Mind
Tara is the only leadership coach with a PhD in neuroscience and a successful career as medical doctor behind her. This unique combination of experience comes together to create an uncompromising and holistic impact on performance optimisation in businesses in the UK, USA, SE Asia and South Africa. Tara is passionate about disseminating simple, pragmatic neuroscience-based messages that change the way people work and sustainably translate to tangible financial improvement in the business. Her neuroscience consulting programme is designed for senior teams in businesses that need their people to do more with less and keep doing it, better and for longer without burning out.Tara is at the forefront of the application of neuroscience to business. She is a published author of 2 books and over 20 articles in journals of neuroscience and coaching. She speaks globally on the brain in business at international conferences, blue chip corporations and at top business schools including Oxford, Stanford and MIT (where she is Senior Lecturer and runs the Neuroscience for Leadership programme). She is regularly quoted in the press and her latest book, Neuroscience for Leadership was published by Palgrave MacMillan this year.

About Jayshree Naidoo, Standard Bank Incubator
As the former Head of Strategy Management and Innovation at DBSA and ex CEO of DaVinci Design, Jayshree now finds herself heading up the Standard Bank Incubator, a creative thinking space that brings together the two works that she is most passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship. She completed her MBA research on in Innovation and Entrepreneurship Capacity Creation, a thesis that capitalised on her 23 years of experience in the field, and across a variety of industries. She has held positions at Discovery, ABSA, Internet Solutions and was a Board Member of Junior Achievement South Africa and former Chair of SAINe (The Southern African Innovation Network).

About Victor Kgomoeswana, Author, Speaker and Consultant
Victor is well known as an African business expert, having published his local best seller, Africa is Open for Business. His exposure to the continent came as he headed up Business Development for PPC, taking him into corners of the continent and unveiling a world of possibility and hope in a region that had historically received scant attention from the rest of the world. As former executive of Ernst & Young, his book brings to life 50 stories of innovation and opportunity behind the business headlines of the last ten years. From the introduction of M-pesa in Kenya to changing the image of Nigeria as Africa’s fraud capital, and from Rwandan coffee farmers to Ethiopian Airlines, and other remarkable stories in between, Kgomoeswana criss-crosses the continent to highlight the most fascinating business stories and their impact on the future of Africa. He is the producer of Africa Business Report, flighted by 702 and SAFM, and is frequently featured on local and international television and radio stations.

About Dr Barbara Holtmann, Social Transformation Consultant
Having completed a PhD in Social Transformation System methodology, Barbara is hailed as an expert in facilitating complex visionary dialogue processes engaging broad stakeholder groups. Her unique approach to “What it looks like when it’s fixed” is also the title of her book, one in which she shares both her research and a deep understanding for the complexities of building communities, businesses and nations in a rapidly changing world. Barbara serves on the board of Women in Cities International and has presented in Mexico, Montreal, Washington DC, Oslo,
Paris, Canberra and London. In Africa she has worked in Kenya, Zambia, Sierra Leone and India and by choice, the main thrust of her work is now being done in South Africa.

About Katie Demain, Consultant, Change expert and Coach
Katie is widely considered Africa’s foremost practitioner in the Science of Happiness @ WorkTM. She is a Global Associate of the iOpener Institute for People and Performance in the UK and with a career spanning more than 20 years, Katie has lived and worked in 12 different countries. With a background in journalism, Katie spent many years leading a team of journalists throughout Africa to research and write economic reports for The Economist, Newsweek, USA Today and other globally recognized publications. Nine years ago, Katie redefined her career to become one of Europe’s most sought after Executive Coaches, working with a number of the world’s top business schools. Her passion is Workplace Happiness and Performance, and her home is South Africa. Today Katie has an enviable client, one that spans continents, countries and companies. She is fluent in French and Spanish and holds a BA in European Business Management.

About Buyani Zwane, CEO of Breakthrough Development
Buyani is an inspiring leader, motivational speaker and facilitator of meaningful dialogue and development programmes for leaders. He has been involved with HR at Shell, Old Mutual, Eskom, Sasol and Uthingo Management. Today Buyani is CEO of Breakthrough Development and a part-time faculty member of the Gordon Institute of Business Science. He is also the winner of the prestigious Black Management Forum’s Manager of the Year, and is the former President of the Black Management Forum in Mpumalanga. He holds a BSc in Industrial Psychology and a number of qualifications in leadership and management development. Entertaining, engaging, committed and passionate about change, Buyani brings more than 20 years of development experience to his presentations.

About Nicola Tyler, CEO, Business Results Group
South Africa’s local expert in the field of lateral thinking, and Founder of Business Results Group, Nicola has presented at conferences around the world. With more than 25 years in the field of learning and development, her experience spans industries and continents. She has shared the stage and conducted Q&A Sessions with great minds and leaders, including Edward de Bono, Robert Kaplan, Dave Ulrich, Martin Seligman, Tal Ben Shahar, Ricardo Semler, Martin Lindstrom, Richard Koch and Dave Norton. Nicola is a popular and sought after strategic thinker, bringing her experience as a trained lateral thinker to strategic conversations across the continent. As a former lecturer on the GIBS MBA, a certified Master Trainer in de Bono Thinking Systems and Practitioner in Liz Wiseman’s Multipliers programme, Nicola is both a popular facilitator and keynote speaker at events around the world.

About Lebo Mashile, Poet and Performer
Lebo Mashile A poet and a performer who is passionate about change, children,communication and collaboration. Lebo is as comfortable on stage as she is behind a camera, having had a career that has spanned scriptwriting, producing, presenting and stage acting. Lebo’s natural talent has now been discovered by the corporate world, where she brings to life her talent for poetry and arts in the workplace. A masterful storyteller, self-scripted, Lebo’s career has seen her named one of New African’s magazines “Top 100 Africans” and winner of the Art Ambassador award for South African Women in the Arts. She holds a Degree in Law and International Relations, is an active ambassador and campaigner for change and has produced two award winning CD’s, Ribbon of Rhythm and Flying Above the Sky.