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These are the characteristics of happy companies. Are you part of one of them?

March 20, 2020

Happy organizations have people with a great attitude towards their work and life, which translates into greater innovation, productivity and profitability. Here we tell you how to build these positive environments.

8 min read

The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.

These are the characteristics of happy companies. Are you part of one of them?These are the characteristics of happy companies. Are you part of one of them?

You wake up a little before the alarm goes off, get ready, eat breakfast, and head to your office. You are sure that today will be a great day: you will present the project you have been working on for the last two weeks.

Yes, there are some risks, but you are not afraid: you have the support of your boss, who knows that to innovate, you have to take risks. The best thing is that you have the support of the whole team, of that small family with whom you live daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., they, with whom you share ideas, work, laughter and also sometimes frustrations.

Does it look familiar? These are some of the characteristics of happy organizations: places where people come to work with a great attitude, who have a proactive, optimistic mindset and who want to build.

Here the leaders have built scenarios so that the optimistic attitude that people have continues, so that the best relationships are managed. In this place, leaders give confidence to their teams and among their members they provide camaraderie and cooperation, which builds healthy work environments.

Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, director and founder of Colombians Successful , the first agency for organizational happiness in the world, explains that the happiness of the human being in general is based on his relationships , and at work is no exception: “in the way how my bosses treat me, the way my colleagues relate to me and the way I relate to myself. Attitude determines how happy I am as a person in the office and how happy teams are at their workplaces. ”

Juan Carlos Gutiérrez / Director and founder of Colombians Successful.

Photo: Successful Colombians

The axes of work happiness

In an interview with , the Colombian national expert details that happiness at work is made up of three axes:

  1. Leader. Key to building a positive culture and scenario for your collaborators. You must be able to give your people confidence and security, make people feel that when they have a problem or a mistake the last thing that will happen is to be fired, that they can trip, fall and get up. “That is what innovation requires: experimentation and failure, if I do not allow my collaborators to test, I will never fail, nor innovate, I must give them that security and confidence,” says Juan.
  2. The team. They must generate cooperation among themselves and be such that you have the certainty that if one day you fall someone will help you, that if you have a problem you will be present for them.
  3. Optimism and proactivity. Refers to change-oriented behavior. All companies want people to be empowered, committed, to generate creative ideas and to have innovation.

“When I get team leaders to provide security to teams, I am generating empowerment and commitment. If you receive confidence from me as a leader and you have the assurance that if you make a mistake I will not fire you, you become empowered, you start acting, you take charge, you become proactive. ”

Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, director and founder of Successful Colombians.


This Colombian has been doing research on happiness at work for a long time. Last year, he entered into an alliance with the Mexican company Live 13.5 to share best practices on how to generate greater happiness in organizations. Together they are making the first documentary on happiness at work. It will be evidence of the best learning in the subject in 25 countries, work that is intended to be completed in 2021.

Related: She is the expert who helps you make your company really happy (and earn more money)

Does your team have problems?

On whether there can be a happy team without good leadership, Juan Carlos categorically answers no or that it is something unusual. “Leaders are the benchmarks in behavior. The teams behave like their boss: if you have a tyrant, scolding and abusive boss, the teams will tend to behave in a similar way, generating clashes between them, there will be little synergy and a lot of negative gossip ”.

What sometimes happens, comments the also lecturer, is that “there are teams in which the boss is not a leader, but someone from the team assumes that role.”

“The leader is a reference, the usual thing is that if you have a bad boss you have bad teams.”

If you feel that things are not going well in your organization, the expert suggests making a diagnosis. Sometimes it is a communication problem, connection between the teams, there may be attitude or commitment problems. The first red alert is that the teams do not reach the expected results or goals.

The indicators

The founder of Successful Colombians warns that it is very common for an order to be given, but for the team to land something else. “A leader must at least have a notion of how his team behaves in terms of capturing information. If my team is very visual, I will bring them slides, if they are auditory, I will be very clear in the way I speak or express and if He is kinesthetic. I will try to bring him enough help so that they reinforce the way they learn. ”

Although the only way to know why a team is wrong is through a diagnosis, Juan Carlos points out some indicators that you can take into account.

  • The fear. It is the first indicator that a person is not happy at work. If the teams are uncertain that if they make a mistake, they ask for help or if the bosses see him as “very buddy” with their colleagues they can fire them, you have to be careful. So, “I am going to shut myself up to keep myself in the position I am in. This also generates physical problems because I am in constant stress, raising my cortisol levels, I do not relate well to others, some begin to speak ill of others, I do not have a team and I have a bad attitude, “he warns.
  • Bad relationships. There is no empathy. “An indicator in Latin America is when people arrive and they don't greet each other, they don't look, they don't touch each other, they look like islands. The lack of empathy generates that there is no cohesion, nor collaboration, there is no camaraderie and it is the lack of empathy that generates great errors in the teams ”, he comments. “80% of problems among work teams happen because people don't give themselves the opportunity to learn about the history behind the people they work with.”
  • Attitude. The human being is complex. Only when we begin to value things do we change our attitude.

Juan Carlos recommends thanking the opportunities. This will help you generate more empathy and optimism. It also highlights the importance of knowing your north. “We have all worked in places that we do not like. You must go through certain phases to reach a goal. The problem with not knowing where you are going is that no job works for you. If you hate your job and you don't know where you are going, you will feel trapped and there will be a marked frustration. ”

The job happiness ranking

Successful Colombians and Live 13.5 are making the first happiness ranking in Latin America. The objective is to pay tribute to companies that have created quality, healthy and happy environments in recent years.

Nancy Martínez, happiness expert and creator of Live 13.5, invites companies that already have a clear vision of what it means to build happiness, that have executed strategies, that have a budget established for it to participate.

The ranking will rise in 10 countries and will award the top five places in each country. More information at: and

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