Don´t we forget that we have only one life and how we feel at work directly affects how we feel at home and vice versa? HR professionals need to have these and similar issues on their daily agenda. The fifth annual Happiness @ Work conference in Prague, the biggest Happiness at Work even in the world, brought tips on how to make sure that humanity does not disappear from our offices and work teams.
There was one warning appearing through all presentations: The world of companies has changed fundamentally. It is no longer true that they exist primarily to please shareholders only. Just generating profits is no longer enough for success. They need to focus on all their stakeholders – besides shareholders – on their customers and employees. To them, companies that want to operate in the long term in the exponential times, as David Vrba called it, must offer a clear and acceptable vision and explain the reason and purpose of their existence. People want to participate in projects to improve the world we live in.
However, this does not mean that companies should forget the results. In addition to a meaningful mission, people also need to participate in achieving results. According to Arlette Bentzen, achieving results in addition to building good relationships in the workplace is what will save every business in planning and making changes. Jochen Menges, a professor at the universities of Cambridge and Zurich, reminded, that companies would not achieve the results by constantly increasing pressure on speed and performance.
So how can we create a working environment where people will feel happy?
Though it might seem to be a hopeless situation, Menges recalled that there are several ways out of the constant acceleration trap. As your litmus paper, you can use those who are happy at work but feel stressed. First of all, and not only for them, get rid of work that is unnecessary and does not produce results. Instead of engaging people in needlessness, help them prioritize consistently and focus on the top priorities that deliver the results they need. Get ready to help your people choose top priorities.
The second tip from Jochen Menges was to focus on just one thing (the current top priority), finish it and then start the next task. Last but not least, he advised managers to be the best role models of desirable behavior for their people.
If all of this sounds good to you, but you hear yourself saying that you can’t do anything like that in your company, know you’re wrong. In addition to consultants, coaches, and scientists, representatives of companies presented their stories and tips at the conference as well.
Listen to the story about authenticity at London’s Innocent Drinks by Tim Dorsett. It reminds us how only a small approach can change your activities. He described what had changed when they began to perceive customers as ordinary people and establish normal human interactions and connections with them.
Guest blog from Veronika Paráková