Positive Impact and Re-engineering the perception of work

Human Potential


Decoding AQ with Ross Thornley Feat. Sarah Ratekin

Show Notes

Sarah Ratekin is Business owner and Chief Happiness Officer  at Happiness Is Courage Inc. An Employee Experience Champion. She is in her happy place when making the complex simple. Especially in Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity - driving Workplace Transformation and a sort after Keynote Speaker and Author.

Sarah is truly passionate about employee experience across all levels of an organization. She loves building sustainably nurturing environments where people feel valued, respected, and trusted to do and be their best.

The author of "Silver Threads: Living a Life of Gratitude" and the companion Silver Threads positivity and gratitude journal.

As a researcher, she loves data and as a realist, Sarah knows that data almost never tells the complete story - we need the fuller context to make truly good decisions.

We also cannot make our best decisions when we are steeped in stress. We owe it to our colleagues, our customers, and our communities to navigate these challenges in meaningful ways. If we start with the employee experience, we create a strong foundation for well-being and growth.

Ross and Sarah talk about functioning, the economy, common themes at work, being miserable in the workplace, stress, positive impact on organisations, mental health, exploration, the science of happiness, meaningful change, stigmas, ingrained beliefs,  employee satisfaction, meaningful impact, positive relationships, emotional investment, shared misery and trauma bonding. The pair also discuss resilience, good intentions, depending on others, burnout, survival, losing clients, leading by example, buying in, well-being, decision making, frank conversations, intentional disruption, organisational inflammation, de-stress, short term goals, holidays, optimizing without burnout, changing company culture, employee engagement, trust and curiosity.


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  • 00:21 Sarah's bio
  • 02:06 Going from the navy to helping people find organisational happiness
  • 05:56 Having a chief happiness officer
  • 10:12 Friction points and shifting perceptions
  • 15:20 People getting too comfortable being unhappy
  • 19:28 Gratitude in stressful situations
  • 27:01 Crisis and steps to bring awareness to happiness in organisations
  • 32:15 Approaches to re-engineering the perception of work
  • 36:55 Moments of pause and reflection
  • 40:10 The ideal person in an organisation to integrate a Chief Happiness Officer
  • 48:11 The last time Sarah did something for the first time

Full Podcast Transcript