„Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” –Sir Richard Branson.
This how people perceive their workplace, matters.
There are so many reasons why employers should focus on workplace happiness. For instance, happy employees are more creative and better at solving problems, they are less sick, they are more loyal to their employers, they are more engaged and more productive.
But what is happiness? According to Wikipedia, happiness is a ’fuzzy concept’. Related concepts are well-being, quality of life, flourishing, and contentment.
So what is in this case Workplace Happiness? Tiina Saar-Veelmaa, Workplace Happiness Advocate in Proekspert defines it as follows: Workplace Happiness is this when people can use their full potential. It means that people can act as they like. It means that they do not have too many obstacles on their way that may reduce their motivation. It means that people can feel the purpose of their actions. It also means people willing to develop themselves and others.
Smart organizations know that they can’t have too many things on their plate at the same time. They need to focus.
So what are the most important things that they need to focus on when you want to create workplace happiness? To get that information I contacted different Workplace Happiness experts to ask what are the most important elements in Workplace Happiness.
Alexander Kjerulf, International author and speaker: (1) Happy companies make more money! Increasing employee happiness dramatically reduces absenteeism and employee turnover and boosts employee productivity, motivation, and creativity. (2) Happiness at work is one of the 3 most important sources of happiness in life while hating our jobs can cause stress and illness. (3) Happiness at work doesn’t come from raises, bonuses or perks. It comes from two things: Results and Relationships, i.e. doing great work together with great people.
Travis Shumaker, HR & Workplace Happiness Consultant: Happiness at work, or as I call it Happywork, is the space where our self-care and the social nature of work thrive. This can be thought of as the balance of Satisfaction, Engagement, Wellness, and Purpose. These elements have an internal aspect I call self-care and an external aspect I call social interactions with each having a number of daily goals to create an upward spiral.
Ingrid Sivakova, People & Culture Director of ISS Czech & Slovakia as well as Eastern Europe: (1) Pleasant working premises. Not just our own office, but all the premises in the office building or nearby area, with the option to park without stress in the morning, grab a good coffee on the way, having cleaned office ready and a smiling receptionist greeting you at the entrance. There should be some basic services in the building available like canteens or coffee shops to allow the employees to spend some informal time together. If there is an open-space office, let´s at the beginning schedule an informal workshop to create some rules for our “living together”. (2) Showing care about the employees and be honest about it. To get the salary on time is something that does not count as a benefit anymore. And it is not about a bunch of other perks you are offering. It is about meeting in the kitchenette and being interested in the other person, not shying away by the first personal question and all these things that create a more human and personal environment with all the colleagues despite the formal hierarchies. Showing the respect to the private life of an employee can help a lot as well. Personal life affects the job and the leaders should keep that in mind. With small favors like allowing leaving the work 2 hours earlier due to parents meeting at school, we can create a kind of commitment on the employee´s side. However, the culture has to be created, it´s not given that it´s there. (3) Having a purpose. Simple to say, harder to do. The leaders should create an environment, where all the teams understand how they contribute to the common goal and this goal has to be clear. With breaking down the silos among the departments and communicating across the organization we can open the door to a more effective way of working, more innovative approach and with that, to more engaged employees that are not interested only in doing the same routine job 8 hours every day.
What is your opinion? How do you perceive Workplace Happiness?
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