Happiness in the workplace – something to chase

By: Therese Bill, Knowledge E

If there were a worldwide bet on what one thing every single person on this earth would strive for, I would put all my money on ‘happiness’. Happiness is the foundation of everything and happiness can depend on many different things. Happiness at the workplace will be one piece in the ‘happiness in life puzzle’. Studies have shown that people generally are happier when they are employed.

So, does Workplace = Happiness?

Not everyone will agree with this equation and neither should they. The equation above is not valid for all workplaces nor for all people and it is certainly not as well-known as like Einstein’s famous equation E=mc² and never will be.

What makes some people agree then?

I believe that, just like any other relationship, whether it is a friendship, marriage etc., nothing comes for free. If you want something, you have to work for it. Prioritize it, focus on it, spend time working towards it. It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something so why would being an expert at happiness come without ‘practice’? At Knowledge E, we practice happiness with birthday cakes, weekly pilates, football, volleyball, the list goes on.

The UAE has been ranked the happiest Arab country, and the 21st happiest in the world in the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s World Happiness Report 2017 rankings. I am convinced UAE will climb further considering the efforts of the government and I applaud the fact that the government takes happiness seriously.

-What is happiness in the workplace for you?

“To be part of an engaged, honest, full of energy workforce that collaborates well together and works as a great team. (No one feels that ‘this is not my job’ and ‘not my business’! Everyone tries to solve problems, yes problem solving!)”, Kamran Kardan, CEO and founder of Knowledge E.

“Of course having a costa coffee pretty close by does help too!” – Kamran Kardan

At our company, we always see an employment as a two-way relationship. When hiring new talent to the team, we want the other party to feel like that person is ‘making a catch’ just like we want to feel like we are ‘making a catch’. Aren’t all relationships built on the same principal really?

A wise man once said, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

My tea cup at the office states ‘Hire. Train. Retain.’ and I drink from it proudly every day. An American study has shown that the average costs to replace an employee are:

  • 16% of the annual salary for low-paying jobs
  • 20% of the annual salary for mid-range positions
  • up to 213% of the annual salary for highly educated executive positions.

This would mean that, for example, the cost to replace a $100k CEO is $213,000! I think it is safe to say that there is a price on happiness in other words for all parties involved.

‘Welcome to the Knowledge E family!’ This is something we always include in our new joiners’ introduction email.  ‘Why?’ you may wonder, because at our company we value people and we value happiness, we value relationships.

“Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business,” says Richard Branson, founder of The Virgin Group and I could not agree more.

With happiness comes results. Results for the company and results for a person’s career. An experiment has shown that productivity can be increased by as much as 20% if a person is happy.

My mandatory conclusion then – Who should chase happiness at the workplace? My answer is simple: everyone!

 

Sources:

The World Happiness Report 2017 – http://worldhappiness.report

http://www.businessinsider.com/malcolm-gladwell-explains-the-10000-hour-rule-2014-6

https://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/CostofTurnover.pdf

http://fortune.com/2015/10/29/happy-productivity-work/

https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/why-is-looking-after-your-employees-so-important