When someone asks, “What is a Chief Happiness Officer and why is having one so important,” examine the modern workplace. With more and more companies looking to find ways to make sure their top employees remain loyal, it’s no surprise that eudaimonia is being examined. This word has Greek origins and means “human flourishing,” but now seems to entail fostering a combination of prosperity, health, and happiness.
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Enter the Chief Happiness Officer
Gone are the days when employees wanted nothing more than job security and a steady paycheck. The workplace has evolved significantly—and so have the people within that workplace. According to an article in Forbes Magazine, the three most important qualities workers are looking for are fulfillment, engagement, and empowerment. Of nearly 7,000 employees surveyed, 87% believed a company needed someone to have a full-time position to oversee the well-being of the employees. Almost 70% of those involved in the survey said a work environment should foster happiness on the job.
Can someone who runs a small business be their own Chief Happiness Officer? Definitely—provided they understand some basic qualities they need to share with their employees, in order to promote a happy work environment. In an article in Inc. Magazine, six steps are needed to foster a happier workplace: Respect, Trust, Being both Captain and Coach, Searching for Feedback, Being Flexible, and Showing Appreciation.
Since the Human Resources department in a company is dedicated to protecting a company’s most valuable asset, it’s only natural for the CHO to work closely with the HR department. Many times, HR representatives are the first ones to notice when workers aren’t performing well, and by addressing issues early on, valuable time and energy can be saved. When the CHO creates a workplace environment that improves the happiness of the workers, this literally translates into providing better customer service, improving relationships among different departments, and even increasing both productivity and the company’s bottom line.
An efficient CHO creates an environment that leads to an increase in productivity. A study conducted at the University of Warwick showed that happy workers were 12% more productive than those workers who were not happy. In addition, when Google focused its attention on employee satisfaction and support, they found an overall increase in productivity by over thirty percent. Researchers believe happy workers make more efficient use of their time, as opposed to workers who are either indifferent or actively unhappy.
Fulfilling a Need
While it might seem as if the role of a CHO is not needed, today’s work environment shows that is clearly not the case. Dr. Wahid Awad, in his blog at LinkedIn, explained the importance of a CHO—and suggested every company should have someone in that position. Companies need to retain their best people and one of the ways to do that is to create a workplace where employees are happy. This is especially true for workplaces that have workforces comprised largely of millennials. Millennial workers place a great deal of emphasis on being happy at their job and will often leave a financially rewarding job that does not give them a sense of satisfaction and happiness at the end of the day.
While having a Chief Happiness Officer might not be a necessity for every company, research shows the more engaged and happy an employee is, the greater a company’s productivity. At the end of the day, a Chief Happiness Officer will not only keep the employees happy—the CHO will also keep the company happy.