There is a “war for talent” going on, according to Alexander Kjerulf.
Companies are finding it harder to hold onto qualified talent, so they’re looking more towards what can make them happy.
What can make them stay? Alex has been talking to me about this in today’s podcast. Why? Because he is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Woohoo inc and one of the world’s leading experts on happiness at work. He’s also written two fab books — Leading With Happiness and Happy Hour Is 9 To 5.
So how do we help create more happiness in our staff? Results and relationships. Alex explains exactly what that means in our chat.
Plus, he says we need to take control of our own happiness, both personally and professionally. It’s all here for you. I hope you enjoy.
On today’s podcast:
- Creating workplaces where people actually thrive
- Happy companies make more money
- The difference between happiness and satisfaction at work
- Where happiness at work comes from
- Why positive feedback is so important
- Alexander’s book recommendations
Creating workplaces where people actually thrive
Alexander is the Chief Happiness Officer of Woohoo, a company based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Their aim? To make people happy at work.
They’ve just celebrated their 15th company anniversary. They travel the world and they teach companies how to create positive cultures that make their employees happy.
We live in a world where work is not optional, unless you are born rich. Not only do you have to work, you also have to spend most of your waking hours at work. Alexander believes that society owes people good work that they can actually enjoy. How we feel at work has such a huge effect on us.
How can we measure happiness?
- Using happiness work surveys.
- Managers should just know how their employees feel about their jobs.
Happy companies make more money
Research shows that happy companies make more money. When an organization is happy, productivity is higher. Happy employees do more work and are more creative and innovative. Absenteeism and employee turnover are also lower.
Alexander has heard business leaders say that if their employees are happy, they are not working hard enough. For so many people, their model of success in business is based on suffering.
There is a difference between happiness and satisfaction at work. Satisfaction is very rational, very logical. You sit down, you evaluate your job circumstances and you rationally decide if you’re satisfied or not. It’s a very poor measure. Job satisfaction is what you think about your job, while happiness at work is what you feel about your job.
Where happiness at work comes from
Each one of us is responsible for our happiness in life. The same goes for our happiness at work.
Managers have a responsibility of creating a positive work environment. But within this framework, it’s still up to each and every one of us to do whatever we can to create a better workplace. It’s a shared responsibility.
Company perks are pointless. They don’t make employees happy at work. They create satisfaction, but not happiness.
Alexander believes that happiness at work comes from:
- Results: the feeling that you are good at your job and that the work that you do is meaningful.
- Relationships: the feeling that you are valued as a person, not just as a worker. Employees need to have good relationships with their co-workers and managers.
The importance of positive feedback
If companies could do only one thing to make their employees happier, they should start with positive feedback.
More than anything else, companies need a vision that is inspiring and positive. Employees working for such organizations know that they are creating a positive change in the world.
The common denominator of happy workplaces is the fact that they have top leadership who take happiness seriously.
Alexander’s book recommendations:
- Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
- Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia
- The Seven-Day Weekend : A Better Way to Work in the 21st Century by Ricardo Semler