Events Kahlenberger Gespräche Happiness at work
Happiness at work - no coincidence! 


MODUL Career hosted an inspiring panel discussion regarding ‘Happiness at work' on May 27th, 2015, as part of the series "Kahlenberger Gespräche".

MMag. Dr. Ivo Ponocny, Associate Professor and head of the department of Applied Statistics and Economics at MODUL University Vienna, introduced the topic with a holistic approach. The MODUL Study of Living Conditions served as a representative source for his key note speech and underpinned Dr. Ponocny's conclusion that work plays a very important role in our lives and that happiness at work can be influenced on several levels, starting at the individual level, up to the impact of society. With a simple and effective example he demonstrated how a tiny hole in a water bottle can "soak" the entire process. Therefore the influence of supervisors and managers play an important role, can avoid "holes in the system" and have the power to provide an appropriate environment for happiness at work. His conlusio was an appeal to communication and to authentic open door policies.

During the panel discussion Dr. Ponocny's views were supported by Ines Lochmann, BA, Director of People Servies at Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna. She recommended an open door policy throughout the whole company, and emphasized the fact that listening as well as actively approaching and communicating with co-workers are key-elements for a better work environment. Although her views regarding remuneration were debated, it was unanimously agreed that recogntion, team spirit, social contacts and positive experiences are of much greater priority for happiness at work.

Ms. Astrid Hradecky, experienced Life Coach and pedagogue, portrayed the importance of knowing oneself and focusing on strenghts rather than weaknesses. Her practical tips added great value to the discussion and gave the audience some "take-away-thoughts" which can be put into action immediately. Throughout her professional life she has been coaching individuals regarding several topics, ranging widely from self-reflection and motivation to topics like salary-negociation. She knows that small initiatives like asking for character-feedback or allowing every emotion to occur and to pass, as well as simple patience can solve seemingly big issues. In her opinion, getting to know oneself, either through crisis or active communication, leads to finding "the sense" again, and therefore retaining motivation.

Motivation, and especially self-motivation, played an important role in the discussion round overall. Particularly Alexander Fuchs, BBA, Banqueting and Event Sales Executive at Grand Hotel Vienna and MBA student at MODUL University Vienna, emphasized that immediate praise and criticism are important elements of good leadership. Although "nothing ventured - nothing gained" is a commonly known principle, the insight into Mr. Fuchs' life, brought this statement to a whole new level. His story demonstrates that there is only one way, when one is on the floor: up! ...and there are many ways to get up there again. One great example was to apprecaite the advice from a role model, a trust-worthy, successful person who is giving honest guidance. He convinced the audience of the power of self-motivation, and positive thinking. Alexander Fuchs knows how to reach for the stars and he does not leave his career up to "coincidence". His decision to do an Executive MBA was tough, due to time-management, but it is worth it, as it opens new doors and perspectives.

Education and further education was mentioned several times throughout the discussion. Dr. Ponocny pointed out that especially generation Y is happy to change jobs or profession due to their flexibility and openness, which makes continous learning play a more important role than ever before.

The panel was rewarded by a round of applause and lively talks during the networking cocktail afterwards.

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