Nov 21 2018
Human Resources and Training
Ever since the 1980s, organizations have realized the impact of employee morale on their productivity. Efforts were made, with varied levels of success, to ensure that employees’ satisfaction and well-being were catered for in many Human Resources initiatives implemented across a number of organizations around the world. Recently, a new trend has emerged. No longer are organizations only focused on the satisfaction and well-being of employees. Rather, they have extended their efforts to employee happiness. A plethora of books and numerous studies have been written on the subject proving the link between happiness and productivity. The United Arab Emirates is a prime example among countries who were the first in starting projects and organizations for that purpose such as the establishment of the ministry of happiness.
The challenge that was reported by some Human Resources Professional attending training courses I ran with Meirc is that despite all these efforts, some employees are still not happy. “No matter what we do, there is no satisfying these grumpy employees”, one well-being officer reported. When I heard that, I could not help but think of the old English saying “you can take the horse to water, but you cannot make the horse drink.” In other words, employees must choose to be happy.
At the age of 13, I remember my father taking me to see the Versailles Palace in Paris. I was taken by the beauty of that place; the intricate architectural designs, the beautiful gardens, and the surrounding serenity. I turned to my father at that innocent age and asked him: I heard about kings in the French dynasty who were depressed even though they owned all of this. How could that be? The answer, of course, lies in choosing to ignore all the beauty that surrounded them and immersing themselves in negative thoughts instead. Therefore, it stands to reason that we should help employees choose to be happy and focus on the positive experiences they encounter in their lives (mainly their work lives) instead of the negative ones.
In conclusion, organizations should continue their efforts to initiate and implement happiness and well-being projects to enhance and improve the environment within the workplace, thereby motivating employees and promoting productivity. They should also support these efforts with educational workshops to elevate the awareness of employees of their responsibility for their own personal happiness. The ultimate aim is to encourage them to choose happiness and focus their attention on they have instead of what they don’t have, or the positive instead of the negative. Written by: Ibrahim Al Yafi, Partner with MeircBlogs