Happiness at work, it is a hot topic. Nevertheless, it is now more important than ever. But what is happiness at work, and how can you stimulate it for your colleagues or employees? We did some research and asked insights from our HR department. We also gathered views from our colleagues regarding their happiness at work.
What does happiness at work mean?
When you search for the term work happiness, you can conclude that there are many definitions. When we compared them side by side and distilled them down to their essence, we saw that the words: proud, joy and commitment are key.
“Happiness at work is the feeling that employees really enjoy what they do, they are proud of themselves, and they enjoy people being around, thus they have better performance.” – a definition by Wikipedia
Happiness at work, a global view.
Even globally, each country handles employee happiness differently. Denmark, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia are listed as the top 5 countries in the Happiness at work rankings.
They are a role models, and we could really learn from their methods. In addition to happy co-workers, they also experience many other benefits by investing in the happiness of their employees.
What are the benefits?
Studies show that when people experience happiness at work, they will automatically be more productive. To be exact, their productivity will increase with 12% compared to unhappy co-workers. Happy employees commit twice as much time to their tasks and have 65% more energy.
Another study by Gallup showed that having 20% of Americans unhappy at work, costs the American economy around $550 billion annually. And that’s a lot of money lost, if you ask us.
We can conclude that happiness at work creates healthy employees, which results in more profit and other benefits for the companies they work for. So it’s definitely something we have to invest (more) time and effort in.
Ferranti employees’ view on job happiness.
Anne-Mie | HR department
Work happiness for me means getting energy out of doing my job because I get satisfaction out of what I do as a professional, by what I do I have a kind of positive impact on my colleagues and the company and I feel a healthy balance between my personal and my professional life.
Ferranti contributes to my work happiness by giving me responsibility and trust. These are essential elements for me to be the best professional I can be, and hence a happy professional.
What should become standard in every company? An open feedback culture where employees connect spontaneously and are allowed and facilitated to discuss any topic in a respectful way.
Marijn Joosens | Pre Sales
Work happiness to me means that I do not see working as a hassle. A healthy balance between the amount of energy that I’m putting in vs the energy I get from completing my tasks. Getting enough validation from your colleagues can be a big help and seriously motivates you to perform good.
Ferranti contributes to our work happiness by having such an open company culture, freely talking to anyone from the organization during a coffee break. Your coffee break can take a little longer without anyone immediately looking over your shoulder. Talking to someone from HR is not a taboo here, you’re freely to drop by if you have any questions. The people from HR are always available for some more personal questions and are happy to help you. You can schedule regular check-ins throughout the year with a coach (e.g. can be a PM, team lead, technical expert…) to challenge you with objectives or to talk freely with you about your career. In case your interest would have peaked in other directions and will help you get more experience in things you like to do more. Your career could start as a developer, but you could end up e.g. becoming a solution architect or moving to the sales team…Ferranti really puts the person in the driver and the feeling of having control over where you’re developing yourself to, helps big time to getting your work happiness as high as possible.
What should become standard in every company? Being able to freely talk about your work and personal life in a formal and informal way. Being a driver of your own career and choosing to do what gives you the most energy to help improve your overall work happiness.
Kjell Kleyn | Junior consultant
If you ask me what job happiness is, I would describe it as: deriving satisfaction from daily tasks, seeking challenges and going to extremes without it feeling heavy or overburdening.
I haven’t worked at Ferranti for long, yet I can feel and see that Ferranti is definitely investing in job happiness. I myself benefit a lot from the flexible hours. If it’s really busy on the road, then there is no problem by leaving for work a bit later. If there is no appointment left at the dentist in the evening, it is no problem to go during the day.
What should be standard in every business? Well, a good work-life balance is a must! Every company should monitor this for his/her employees. But that’s something Ferranti is already doing.
How to improve happiness at work?
Ensuring that employees are happy at work has multiple benefits. But how do you go about this? We asked our HR department, and they gave us some useful insights.
1. Work-life balance
Preserving the work-life balance of your staff is important. After all, employees who feel encouraged by their employer to pursue a good work-life balance feel better about themselves and engage better in all areas.
What can help to create an optimal work-life balance?
- Flexible hours
- Choice to work part-time or full-time
- Offering services like: sports facilities, ironing service, Sending/receiving packages at work
2. Career development
The opportunity to advance into a different role within the company increases the engagement of employees. Overall, it gives people something to work towards.
What can a company do to support development?
- Hold regular feedback meetings with your employees
- Visualize opportunities and pathways within the company
- Provide courses and trainings or other initiatives to stimulate grow or development
- Have attention for employees’ aspirations (big or small)
3. Open communication culture
An open communication culture makes people feel valued, and let that be the very thing that makes people grow. It’s something small but can have a tremendous impact on the well-being of your employees
What can you stimulate an open communication culture?
- Any topic can be discussed
- Respect each other opinion
- Value each other’s feedback