Happiest People leads to Happiest Customers: Sharon Rajkumar of Happiest Minds Technologies

SkillOutlook team has interacted with Sharon S. Rajkumar, PhD, Director &  Happiness Evangelist at Happiest Minds Technologies. The discussion points range from Happiest People Framework to how mindful culture helps in brand positioning.

Shed some more light on Happiest Mind’s vision and mission “Happiest People. Happiest Customers”

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The Mission statement of Happiest Minds is “Happiest People. Happiest Customers”. This is very simple, is in line with the philosophy with which the company was created and states why we exist.

There is an abundance of research that makes the case that happy employees matter to an organization’s performance – they are more sensitive to opportunities in the work environment, more outgoing and helpful to co-workers, and more optimistic and confident. It has also been found that in order to have happy, satisfied and loyal customers; organizations should have happy, satisfied and loyal employees. Even with employees who do not have direct contact with customers, there was a direct relationship between how employees feel and customer attitudes. This implies that any organization that addresses the issue of employee happiness can directly impact its bottom line needs.



Happiest Minds’ Vision states the following:

  • Be the Happiness Evangelists for each other, our customers and society.
  • Achieve a very successful IPO.
  • Be known as the company with highest standards of Corporate Governance.
  • Be recognized for Thought Leadership in our focused areas of technology and solutions.
  • Be a leader in Social Responsibility initiatives.
  1. What is the Happiest People Framework? How does it work?

Our mission is a constant reminder of the fact that we are in the business of making our customers happy through happy employees. People are an integral part of our business and their happiness is of utmost importance.  Our systems, policies and practices are crafted to foster an open culture, enabling our people discover their potential and participate in shaping their own work life experience. This is how we make a difference.

At Happiest Minds, we have identified a few predictive factors that enable happiness. Some of them are organizational factors such as fairness, transparency and joy in workplace. The others are individual oriented, such as wellness, enriched personal life and giving back to the society.

The Happiest People Framework is built on the 7Cs of Culture, Credibility, Collaboration, Contribution, Communication, Community and Choice.

  1. What is the culture like at Happiest Minds? What are the key values around which the work culture at Happiest Mind’s is focused on?

Happiest Minds has a little over 2000 people. Headquartered in Bangalore, we have operations in the US, UK, The Netherlands, Australia, Middle East and Turkey.

Our Core Values: Sharing, Mindful, Integrity, Learning, Excellence, and Social Responsibility lend themselves to the acronym “SMILES” in resonance with our theme of Happiness, describe our ethos.

Our Mission – Happiest People . Happiest Customers – states why we exist; our vision – foreSIGHT – articulates our measurable goals and our values – SMILES – guide our behavior.

In a nutshell this is what is our culture – Culture of Gratitude, Philosophy of Happiness, Culture of Happiness Evangelism, Culture of Mindfulness, Focus on Wellness and Culture of Listening.

  1. What is Sharon’s role in the system and how does she ensures mindfulness and happiness for the employees as well as the customers?

Happiest Minds is a pioneer in the creation of the role of a Happiness Evangelist, someone whose role is to sensitize each Happiest Mind to the Happiness Agenda; synthesize the tenets of happiness into organizational practices; assess the effectiveness of people practices through Happ’o’meters; and drive improvements and assimilate the culture of the organization that is built on the key values of Sharing, Mindful, Integrity, Learning, Excellence and Social Responsibility (SMILES).

Sharon runs the Happiness Evangelism and Mindfulness programs for the company.

The Company has linked a certain percentage of compensation to a three hundred and sixty assessment on a Happiness Evangelism Index by self, peers, reportees and managers.

Who then is a Happiness Evangelist?

A Happiness Evangelist is one who: looks for opportunities to appreciate others genuinely; listens with empathy; strives to increase harmony and collaboration; is polite and courteous; displays kindness & concern for others; is willing to help others; encourages new thoughts and ideas, even if they are not aligned with his/ her own; is willing to share knowledge; cultivates the culture of WE instead of I; displays calmness in challenging situations; Goes the extra mile to keep the customer (internal/external) happy; and has a high commitment to results.

Happiness Evangelism, therefore becomes an imperative and a responsibility for all Happiest Minds and an effective way to foster cultural change.

We have distilled the principles of mindfulness for Happiest Minds and identified tools and techniques that can be practiced on a daily basis.  We encourage our people to set aside 60 minutes a week to explore, understand and imbibe the philosophy of mindfulness.

Adoption of the Mindfulness theme has benefited Happiest Minds in two ways – Internal: People productivity & better operational efficiencies, and External: Benefits to brand & increased revenue

At the organisational level, it has helped build teamwork, trust and acceptance of different points of view; it has increased our awareness of the impact of our actions on others and makes one responsive, rather than reactive.

At the individual level, our people have reported health benefits like lower blood pressure, enhanced concentration and elevated levels of empathy for others.

  1. The tagline for Happiest Minds is “The Mindful IT Company” which is the extension of their happiness brand positioning. What steps does the company take to ensure the same?

On the fifth anniversary of the launch of our Company, we adopted as our tagline “The Mindful IT Company” – this was in continuation of our journey of happiness and our commitment to be mindful in our interactions with team members and customers.

Mindfulness is a worldwide movement and we are proud to be the first Indian IT company to consciously embrace this philosophy.

Happiest Minds, as a mindful company, offers, individuals an environment to live in the moment and perform with purpose; its customers, a trustworthy partnership by living our core values; and the community, contributions as an empathetic corporate citizen.

Our emphasis is on Being Mindful (Living In the Moment) and Doing Mindful which involves: Perceiving Immersively, Processing Non-judgmentally & Performing Empathetically.

We conduct Mindfulness Training for our people.  Till date 845 Happiest Minds have undergone Mindfulness Training and we are sure this will help them be mindful and do mindful in their interactions with one another, customers and society.

  1. How does Happiest Minds marry technology and happiness to cultivate a mindful culture?

Happiest Minds, a digital transformation company, focuses on the twin themes of disruptive technologies and people happiness.

IT is a knowledge based people oriented industry and with this shift we have managed to break the jinx of ‘yet another IT/ITES company’. From a business point of view, we know that when people are happy they are able to focus on their work and deliver a higher level of customer experience and value. And that is exactly what is happening here.

Initiatives like iAppreciate use technology where one can express gratitude or appreciate another, which enhances their personal happiness and inter-personal experiences. Therefore, Happiness Evangelism and Mindfulness are two sides of the same coin. It opens up possibilities for not just the organization but the individual and is part of our continuing efforts towards our mission of “Happiest People . Happiest Customers”.

  1. What is Happiest Minds’ CSR Initiative “Circle of Happiness”?

Social Responsibility is a core value of Happiest Minds. It is also one of our vision statements where we have set out to “be a leader in social responsibility initiatives”.

Our CSR initiative, is called the CIRCLE OF HAPPINESS. It is an immutable law that what we give, we receive. It’s not an exact exchange and may not always even be apparent. But it forms a full circle…a Circle of Happiness.

We celebrate important SMILESTONES with acts of giving – at our launch, at the completion of the full financial year, at our 5th anniversary at other milestones, mid-day meals were sponsored at Akshayapatra Foundation. We are hoping to cross a million meals for mid-day meal programs by the time of the IPO.

We participate in the Joy of Giving Week – Daan Utsav program – where Happiest Minds and Partners fulfill the wishes at NGO’s – Akshara Foundation, Baale Mane, Balajothi, Jeevarathni Foundation & One Billion Literates Foundation.

Volunteering and Community involvement programs leverage our capabilities to contribute to socially relevant causes and enables us to engage with clients & partners and make a difference to society and the environment. Some of these include celebrating festivals at Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, Inspire a Dream – where children from economically disadvantaged background came to our facilities to spend a day with a Happiest Mind Mentor, designing the website for JDC Sparsha Trust, an organization that extends services and expertise towards education and vocational training of special children.

  1. How does all of this tie to World Happiness Day?

The International Day of Happiness is celebrated worldwide every March 20th. It was conceptualized and founded by philanthropist, activist, statesman, and United Nations special advisor Jayme Illien through a UN Resolution in 2012, that would recognize the pursuit of happiness as a human right and a fundamental human goal…to inspire, mobilize, and advance the global happiness movement.

Today, being happy at work is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity! Everyone wants to find a job they love, be happy at work, and create a great workplace. The IT Services industry is essentially a knowledge industry that offers the opportunity to celebrate and harness our intellectual capabilities while creating economic benefits for ourselves, our customers and society. Our minds work better while we are happier and at peace. Therefore, as long as there are organizations that focus on happiness and mindfulness, we CAN create workplaces where happiness is the norm and not the exception and where the people are not only ‘being mindful’ but are also encouraged to ‘do mindful’.

About the Author

Sharon S. Rajkumar, PhD (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharon-andrew-rajkumar-phd-9728364/) is Director &  Happiness Evangelist at Happiest Minds Technologies.

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