HAPPINESS MEANS PROFITS
PTA News Bureau
When Alexander Kjerulf came out with the book Happy Hour is 9 to 5 even sceptical CEOs welcomed his ideas because what he proffered was not only a research observation, but also a practical guide that could accomplish corporate objectives.
All corporate honchos know that if there are no conditions for employees to be happy, success and profits would remain elusive. Studies by Kjerulf have shown that when employees get to love their jobs, they become more productive, creative, and innovative.
He discovered this happening in ‘happy companies’ such as Hilton, Microsoft, LEGO, IKEA, Shell, HP and IBM. Their healthy balance sheets are testimony to the fact that they are more efficient, innovative and make more money than their unhappy competitors.
“Happiness at work is no longer a luxury—it’s essential for a fulfilling life,” he emphasises in an interview to Polymers & Tyre Asia. When asked how CEOs can rework business strategies to bring workplace happiness in order to boost productivity, he said that they should make happiness a top strategic priority but cautioned that this is by no means an easy thing to do.
“It requires a deep commitment to running a good workplace and it also requires that the CEO genuinely cares about the people in the organisation. This is not something you can fake,” he said.
“Fortunately, many companies have done this already, and you can learn from them. My favourite example is Southwest Airlines in the US, which has made employee happiness its number one strategic priority, simply because it knows that when employees are happy, they make the customers happy and then the company makes more money.”
The CEO should also be a role model. If he wants employees to be happy, he should show them that he is also happy and enjoying your work. Kjerulf tells the management to be positive, upbeat and optimistic most of the time. “Don’t be afraid to be a real human being with real emotions.”
In a globalised world it is a challenge for CEOs to bring into action “happiness strategies” that will work across cultural diversities and conflicting societal differences within companies having footprints across the world.
(Full text in PTA Feb/March issue)