If I'm to believe a lot of what crosses my computer screen these days, we (in HR and rewards) are on the hook not only to improve employee productivity and engagement, but also happiness at work.
No problem, right?
We all want happiness, man, that’s the scope of our lives, to be joyful, connected and just happy, man. But as most of us know, organizations have limited resources to generate happy happy for the unhappy few. What I mean is, if you’re already a whiner, or a belly aching windbag of toxic energy, no program, article, foosball table or casual Friday is going unlock your misery. Happiness at work is entirely different than happiness from our workplace. Sure, having free soda, bonus checks and a great health plan can generate momentary happiness, but if you’re prone to harshing everyone’s mellow none of this is going to matter, you're just going to continue to rain on everyone’s parade.
If you want happiness in the workplace, hire people that are happy for crying out loud, and give them some freedom. Avoid weaponizing toxic people by giving them power over others, making them the overlords of the good and happy people.
Can we impact employee happiness in the workplace? To what extent is happiness something we hire for? Or is it on us to ensure the conditions for happiness are in place - and, if so, what are they?
What's your take?
For those who don't know him, Carr was the closing keynote at the WorldatWork Total Rewards conference a few years back. My local association, Twin Cities Compensation Network, also brought him in to keynote our annual meeting not long ago. If you're looking for a high-energy, entertaining speaker on engagement in the workplace, be sure and check him out!
Image: Creative Commons Photo "Smile" by Alan Cleaver