Holy Grail of Employee Happiness….

Holy Grail of Employee Happiness….

Article by Manjuri Sinha // Originally posted at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/holy-grail-employee-happiness-manjuri-sinha/

A topic that everyone has an opinion about, yet no one has figured out exactly how do you keep your employees happy. I think the best metaphor lies in our everyday relationships, can any spouse exactly predict whether his/her counterpart will be impressed with their back breaking efforts. The answer is NO! Similarly the behavior, mood and emotions of an employee are not predictable.

I am no guru on the subject, but having worked closely with people from different walks of life, demographics, countries; have had a plethora of experiences, where people talk about their unhappiness. While the common allegation is that people in the HR field lock their hearts away and take sadistic pleasures in hurting folks, that is so not true , but i am not going to waste my time in offering explanations, neither do I intend to bore you with unwarranted gyan (knowledge). Rather would like to re-narrate a story most of us have seen or heard, this story for me embodies most of the aspects of a happy workplace.

Any guesses!! Well let me dive right in. This manufacturing setup is known for its top quality products, even during economic hardships customers from all over the world hanker to purchase the goods. The list of faithful and dedicated clientele is never-ending. There has never been any controversies pertaining to employer-employee relationship. Given Up……..

Voila! Its Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory! Shan’t get into the details as I am sure all have seen one or the other version of the film. If not, it's a good opportunity to watch it. No doubt it's a visual treat but my deduction of the moral here is slightly different. The tour his factory teaches us a number of ways that if employed could lead to higher employee satisfaction. Let me enumerate a few-:

  • Hiring Qualified Employees Who possess Passion for the respective field:- Willy Wonka made the effort to go deep into the jungle, step into the shoes of the prospective employee and only when he was convinced of the dedication and knowledge about cocoa being perfectly exemplified, did he hire Oompa Loompas. Yes you will say this already happens, whats the big deal? I beg to differ, it is commonplace to hire based on qualification only for technical fields. If one looks into support functions, both qualifications and passion go for a toss. Best example is the profession of human resource management, numerous people take it up as they perceive it to be easy, almost everyone in the organization think that they know all about HR. Would love to look at a survey which shows up data on exactly how many are qualified to be human resource professionals.

  • Equality:- All the Oompa Loompas are identical, this I feel is a metaphor for fair and just treatment of all employees. To Willy Wonka and the clients, they are all the same. More of an Utopia, but i believe it is the top management of the organization that has to implement and enforce the equality whether it be gender, LGBT, caste, creed, Pwd, religion etc. Yes a number of companies have these written in policies but is interesting to deep dive and see how many front line managers actually shed their prejudices at the doorstep when they enter the workplace.

  • Fun:- At the least provocation, the Oompa loompas’ burst into a song and dance…. they are happy, comfortable and free. No particular enforcement of dress code or high heralding do’s and don’ts. Imagine the Irony, We have more fundamental rights as a citizen and less as an employee. Why can’t i decide what to wear to work, why do i need permission to weat ethnic wear to work, when I am in my own country. Why do i need to appease to likes and dislikes of people from another land. Shall respect their choices when I am in their country. But in my country shouldn’t it be my way. Why do i have to follow a nonsensical rule that forbids me from bringing food to my work-desk. Imagine the discomfort, do you think anyone will be upbeat with such obnoxious rules.

  • Trust:-  Did Willy Wonka breathe down any of the Oompa Loompa’s necks! No, he gave them required autonomy to do their work. When few of his notorious clients wanted to go against the Oompa Loompa’s process. What did Willy Wonka do? Punish the Oompa Loompa’s. No!! It is so commonplace for clients and stakeholders to create unwarranted disturbance sometimes. 8 out of 10 cases the escalation reaches the top boss and a innocent employee is badgered and becomes a prospective attrition. It is crucial to strike a win-win, appease the clients’ ego and not harm the employees’ self respect. Paramount is to discourage a culture of escalations.

Yes! A lot of you will say, Prove this! Do I have enough data to back my claim. Well this is merely a hypothesis and yes backed by real life experiences. My claim could be audacious but not without a premise.

Article by Manjuri Sinha // Originally posted at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/holy-grail-employee-happiness-manjuri-sinha/

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