One of the most substantial changes that have been developing for years in the labour market is the increasing relevance of happiness among members of organizations. In fact, 9 out of 10 professionals in Spain believe that the integration of policies focused around this factor would be a decisive element in order to choose a particular company instead of others.
This is apparent from a recent survey conducted by Adecco, which also reveals that only 13.6% of respondents consider that the corporate world is betting on happiness as a talent retention and attraction strategy.
Until recently, to speak of happiness in working environments was “something frivolous, a trivial trend”, according to Margarita Álvarez, Marketing and Communication Manager at Adecco, who adds that “when the first surveys that linked it to higher rates of productivity and engagement came out, companies began taking the issue seriously”. So seriously, in fact, that it’s becoming increasingly usual that organizations add into their structure a new professional profile integrated within HR departments: Chief Happiness Officer. From American origins, it can also be known as Happiness Manager or Happiness Consultant, among other denominations.
Manu Romero, expert in people and founder of Departamentodefelicidad.com, defines the figure of Chief Happiness Officer as “the one in charge of attracting and retaining a company’s talent, through happiness-at-the-workplace strategies defined in his department”. Continuous monitoring of the well-being of all the individuals in the organization, regardless their level of responsibility, is also among his objectives.
There are studies which claim that the figure of the Chief Happiness officer in HR teams may help to improve professional’s productivity between 60% and 80%. Pablo Claver, expert in happiness at work and author of the book “Por Fin es Lunes: 13 recetas para disfrutar de tu trabajo” (It’s Finally Monday: 13 recipes to enjoy your work), is among those convinced of this advantageous cause-and-effect relationship. “The cost of raw material regarding happiness is 0 and a plan of happiness at work is several times cheaper than Christmas dinner. Happy individuals work better and get sick less”, says Claver.
The La Salle International Graduate School, which has a specific training programme for this professional profile, points out yet another benefit for companies deciding on incorporating a Chief Happiness Officer to their HR departments: “They improve social relations and enhance cooperation, trust and loyalty, towards both external and internal customers. In addition, organizations with happier people in their ranks are more successful, measured both in shareholder value and sales and utilities”.
Main functions of a Chief Happiness Officer
Diverse experts and entities identify the following as a Chief Happiness Officer´s most relevant functions:
- Active listening to people within the organization, paying particular attention to their needs and ideas.
- To achieve that every member of the company, regardless their level of responsibility, feels valued both from a personal and a professional point of view.
- To suggest all those actions that contribute to an optimal working environment, which can be monitored through surveys taken by staff members.
- Implementation of talent retention strategies, especially those aimed at motivating people and self-realization.
- To contribute to professional growth of team members, sometimes with the help of specific training programmes.
- To instill, as a part of corporate culture, proper teamwork as a fundamental element for professional happiness and the company’s productivity.
- Promotion of the values of the organization.
- Implementation of Team Building actions.