When Google instituted its ‘Chief Happiness Officer’ position in the early 2000s, hundreds of companies followed suit, prioritizing happiness for their employees. As a result, employee happiness has become a focal point of human resource departments.
What happens when the clock strikes 5:00? Should corporations be concerned about their employees’ happiness outside of work? Some experts agree that companies should be empathetic to the happiness of their staff even when they’re not at work, while others vehemently oppose.
In a study by JLL Corporate Solutions, 87% of people surveyed want someone dedicated to employee happiness and wellbeing at work.
There’s merit for this idea. Happy employees are more likely to be engaged at work. Engaged employees are more productive, take fewer sick days and are less likely to look for a new job.
While on-site perks such as ping pong tables and free snacks are helpful, employers who wish to keep their employees happy while at work will work to help keep them happy while away from work. More succinctly, employers should prioritize their employees’ work-life balance.
Workplace policies that support employee life outside of the office can greatly improve what happens inside the office by alleviating the things that cause stress. Flex scheduling can accommodate working parent struggles. Providing an option to work from home as needed allows employees who have health issues to work as they are able.
While some companies seem to go to the extreme in providing for their employees’ happiness at work, they seem to ignore the fact that their company is made up of people who have lives outside the office.
Other companies pay lip service to being concerned about their employees, while their policies indicate they only care about their bottom line.
Companies can care about their employees’ happiness – both in and out of the office – without going out of business. In the end, it is left to each business leader to determine what is appropriate for their own company.
Do your employees need brand new flat screen TVs at home to be happy? Would those TVs help them to be more productive at work? You’ll have to decide that for yourself.
Does your company have a Chief Happiness Officer? What efforts have you taken to improve employee happiness?
Interested in learning more about how to attract, retain, engage and appreciate your employees? Check out our blog, where we explore new topics regularly.