“We need more than ever the wisdom and positive means how organizations and employees can not only survive but also flourish and stay well. “
16th of May 2017
Course leader presentation: Jari Hakanen
Positive Psychology at Work, 28th – 30th August, 2017, Reykjavik, Iceland
1. What is your background? A short presentation of yourself.
I am a social psychologist from the University of Helsinki. After finishing my studies I was employed in adult education for five years and only started my research career later; first as a researcher in the Finnish National Suicide Prevention Project and then from 1998 at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. There I started as a researcher of burnout but soon with the international rise of the positive psychology movement I also started to focus on the positive side of employee well-being, i.e. work engagement and job resources. Although I still do research on burnout and other indicators of suffering at work, I am highly interested in positive work-life phenomena, such as job crafting, servant leadership, and how work and family can interface so that they both enrich each other. I have been developing several research based positive interventions in organizations to enhance work engagement and flourishing workplaces. My mission is to boost positive potentials and strengths in work-life.
2. Why do you think that positive psychology at work is an important and current issue to discuss in 2017?
I think that in the middle of all work-life changes and turbulence, insecurities, demands to achieve more with less resources etc., we need more than ever the wisdom and positive means how organizations and employees can not only survive but also flourish and stay well. Of course the challenge to identify and eliminate occupational risks and hazards remains. However, unless employees and managers feel resilient and engaged at work, all the increasing demands are likely to take over and the result is loss of meaningfulness, burnout, and boredom not to speak of work disability and health problems. By combining positive top-down (e.g. servant leadership) and bottom-up (e.g. job crafting) approaches optimal functioning of employees can be ensured.
3. Your greetings to the participants of the course.
Dear participants, you are warmly welcome to the course and to beautiful Iceland. Over the years I have lead several Niva courses and to me they have been among the best days in my professional life and I hope you will have the same experience. The course provides three days of intensive discussions to find positive organizational and individual means to stay healthy, engaged and productive at work. Besides highly interesting topics and great speakers, the uniqueness of the Niva courses stem especially from the participants who are both practitioners and researchers and from fantastic course arrangements and social program. I look forward to see you all in August!
PS. I was also last year in Iceland in the end of August, and during the five days, it only rained for five minutes and most of the time sun was shining!