Numerous studies and experiences of companies whose corporate culture is based on employee happiness show that happiness is beneficial for business. Happy people are more effective, they are more involved and motivated, they are creative and open to change, they get sick less and quit less often, they have satisfied customers and higher sales.
Why are some owners and CEOs of companies still sceptical about this new trend? The reason for this is the old industrial paradigm, where a person was considered a cog in the system, which, firstly, is easy to replace, and secondly, can only be motivated with a carrot and stick. That needs to change.
What is corporate happiness?
In foreign cases, when they talk about the happiness of employees, the term wellbeing is often used. It is important to distinguish happiness-emotion from happiness-state. The perception of happiness as emotion often becomes the cause of “wild HR activity”, when the HR department “makes happy” its employees with endless corporate parties, gifts, entertainment and fun. This has a short effect, requires a lot of money and does not have a positive impact on business performance. It is clear that not a single owner will be ready to pay for such happiness. It's another matter when HR manages employee welfare.
So, will look at 10 motivation tools in the context of happiness as a state. When used to create a sense of autonomy, mastery, and purpose in employees, motivations are transformed into ways to achieve employee happiness.
1. The inspirational meaning of the company.
The goal of the tool: purpose. Each employee will feel like a part of the whole and understand that he is not just earning for a living, but creating something meaningful. Building a sense of pride in the company and in each of the employee.
How to apply: For mission and values to truly evoke a sense of purpose and belonging in employees, they must be born organically. Through the actions of company leaders.
2. Development system.
Personal plans for employees, including not only business goals but also personal development goals for everyone. "Operating system" - regular meetings (week, month, quarter, year) for setting and assessing the achievement of goals, personal "1: 1" (manager-employee, mentor-employee) and team (department, project, the whole team) ...
The goal of the tool: Mastery. Employees see that their qualifications grow with the complexity of the tasks being solved.
How to apply: Maximum transparency and regularity. It is necessary to create an environment in the team that is most conducive to development. People are social creatures, so they are most often motivated by the example of others. Therefore, goals should be set, tracked and discussed in group meetings. Each employee's plan should include not only business results but personal development goals.
3. Increasing the level of autonomy.
Rather, it is not a specific tool, but a principle applied in management activities, including goal setting. For example, an employee sets goals for himself on his own initiative "bottom-up", if he can and wants to. It is imperative to set personal development goals in accordance with the life guidelines of the employee. The manager coordinates the goals chosen by the employee and directs them within the company's strategy. Reporting on the achievement of goals is carried out without micromanagement: the result matters (whether the goal is achieved or not), and the employee determines the process or method of achieving it himself.
The goal of the tool: Autonomy. Employees more and more control their own activities and are less subject to control. The level of responsibility of employees and the labour costs of managers for managerial influences are increasing. And most importantly, employees work more consciously and are more interested in the results.
How to apply for employee happiness: Although employees set goals as if they were themselves, their managers need to make sure that optimal stress levels are maintained. The goals should be slightly more challenging than the employee's current ability level. If everyone achieves 100% of their goals, then it's worth increasing the difficulty.
4. Mentoring. Corporate mentoring is also a traditional tool.
Purpose of the Tool: Mastery. The qualifications and motivation of both the wards and the mentors themselves are increased.
How to apply: An important principle in coaching - the free choice of each other in a mentor-student pair - is also preserved in corporate mentoring. A mentor is not someone who wants to teach, but someone who you want to learn from. An additional effect is achieved if mentoring is encouraged not only in terms of work goals and professional competencies but also in personal development.
5. Open communications.
Transparency within corporate communications is a necessary element in enhancing employee happiness. Top management openly shares information about the company's strategy, its goals, as well as its current tasks, enters into discussions, answers questions directly without prior approval through the PR service. Employees have the opportunity to be heard, to speak directly to any colleague of any level from any department, bypassing the hierarchy.
The goal of the tool: Autonomy, skill, purpose. Open communication supports all three factors in employee motivation and happiness.
How to apply: Of course, openness in internal communications starts with openness in top management. True leadership presupposes openness when both employees and company management are ready for an open dialogue, in which everyone's opinion is valued, business problems are discussed and solved.
6. Selection of new people in accordance with the culture of the company.
When hiring new employees, you need to select people not only by qualifications but also take into account their personal qualities and values, giving preference to those who are most likely to fit into the culture of the company.
The goal of the tool: Purpose. Provide people with exactly the work they will be successful in, and not invite those who might have achieved better results elsewhere.
How to apply: Try to invite a person to work for our company only if you are sure that for him, it will be the best job that he can get now. To attract “your” candidates, it is important to promote your unique corporate culture not only internally, but externally as well.
7. Dismissal of unsuccessful employees.
As one of the management rules says - hire slowly, fire quickly. Although it usually happens exactly the opposite, because when hiring you need to urgently close vacancies, and decisions about dismissals are often very difficult for managers.
How to apply: There is not much more to say about the dismissal. But for the idea of the happiness of employees, it is also important here to pay attention to the interests of the employee, in this case - the dismissed one. Being an outsider does not in any way bring you closer to happiness, so dismissal should be viewed as an opportunity for a person to find truly "his" job, in which he can fulfil himself, become successful and happier. And for the remaining employees, “getting rid” of an unsuitable for this job (specifically for this, and not “unsuitable” in general) creates a sense of fair evaluation of everyone's contribution to the common cause and the opportunity to cooperate more effectively with a new, more suitable colleague and achieve success together.
8. Corporate crowdsourcing.
The most common form of crowdsourcing is collecting employee ideas. Many companies collect ideas, but few do it effectively. Although crowdsourcing, by definition, should unite and involve people.
The goal of the tool: Mastery, autonomy. Employees can express themselves beyond their job responsibilities and change the company for the better.
How to apply: Firstly, like any other project in a company, a crowdsourcing project must have its own leader who will establish the process of considering and implementing ideas, backing it up with the managerial will, of top management. And, secondly, employee engagement is achieved through open communications and quick feedback on ideas. This can be achieved with the help of a corporate social network that allows you to involve the maximum number of participants. It is also necessary to mark the authors and implementer of ideas there.
9. Strengthening personal ties between employees.
Create more opportunities for employees so that they learn more about each other, not only from the professional side but also from the personal side - hobbies, families, children, sports, studies, recreation, etc.
The goal of the tool: Purpose. Uniting employees and increasing the level of trust between people in the company. It’s proven that we trust more those whom we know personally. Going to a big goal is good motivation, but even better motivation is going towards it with good people.
How to apply: There are a lot of ways, and they are also widely known to all HR professionals. Make a special room for relaxing and chatting on breaks from work. A playroom is also a great idea. You can place an 8 pool or Xbox in there, so your employees can get to know each other through competitions and games, not only through work. Make sure that you have a good coffee machine with good quality pods, so your employee can share their stories by the cup of pleasant, awakening coffee. Coffee is always a great idea!
10. Culture of acceptance.
This is simple and generally known in the HR community as "positive feedback." Thank your colleagues regularly for their successes at work, celebrate any achievement, personally celebrate the contribution of each.
The goal of the tool: mastery, purpose. The task of an HR specialist is to teach and motivate everyone in the company to thank colleagues on a regular basis.
How to apply: In terms of employee happiness, it is important that not only managers praise their subordinates, but employees themselves praise each other as often as possible, including their leaders.
It is extremely difficult, and even unnecessary, to evaluate a person (both himself and any employee of the company) on the basis of whether he is happy or not. It is more correct to speak not about achieving happiness, but about increasing the level of happiness. And you can increase it gradually, starting to use not all tools at once, but as they are adopted in the company. The main thing is to start treating employees not as a means of achieving goals or an object of operation, but as equal partners alongside customers, suppliers, shareholders for whom the company works.