Employee engagement scores are high among Indians compared to the global averages and Asian benchmarks. This is good news, however, retention of workforce is a bigger challenge in India compared to many other parts of the world. HR leaders in India have a task cut out for them.
All of us know, happy employees are productive and committed. They service the customer requirements with pride and care for the company’s brand. They spread goodwill in their peer groups about their employer.
And at the same time, employees in India are more open than many others in the world to explore better opportunities at work. We are an ambitious society, most of us are happy to explore new opportunities that will further our career. HR leaders cannot curb the ambitions of their employees. How can they make their employees happy?
Does the Purpose appeal to you?
VCs often have casual conversations in the office corridors with the employees to figure out the extent to which employees relate to the organisation’s purpose. They draw their inferences on the leadership team’s capability and the human potential in the company.
Many orgnisations fail to clearly articulate their purpose and as a natural fallout, the employees draw their own inferences which may or may not be in complete alignment with the ideas of the founders. We feel happy when we do something that we love; it can be reading, writing, singing, playing, dancing, cooking, plumbing, repairing cars, raising children, taking care of the elderly, building houses, running marathons and the list goes on! We get engrossed in it easily. We are happy when our to-do list is something we want to do voluntarily.
Sometimes we take up tasks because we have to do them. Given a chance, we would like to postpone it or avoid doing it. Employers have to watch out for these signals and act by simplifying life for their employees by improving their structure, systems and processes. Also, they need to hire the people who are intrinsically excited about the work they do.
Balancing discipline with fun
We all love fun, amusement, entertainment, camaraderie, good food, luxury, comfort and amenities. At the same time, organisations have timelines, budgets, work processes, systems, demanding customers and constraints which are beyond one’s control. How does one straddle both worlds at the same time?
It is natural that one comes under stress, feels angry and gets frustrated to see things taking unexpected turns. Happiness at work includes all the emotions and experiences of an employee. Some of them are positive and some others negative. The key to happiness is making the positives such as rewards, celebrations, recognitions, conversations and the overall atmosphere far outweigh the brickbats and the bad days.
Every business needs certain levels of discipline to deliver consistent results to all their stakeholders including their own employees. They have to fortify their internal environment with desired levels of fun and combine the discipline required.
Being at peace with oneself
Human beings are social animals and so are organisations. They have a drive to be included in the larger ecosystem. In the quest of belongingness to the overarching system, we make changes in our behaviours, preferences and habits. Sometimes, we take this far too deep and go to the extent of losing self-confidence and self-esteem. We ignore our core and stop listening to our inner voice. As a result, an unusual amount of internal stress develops without our knowledge. This starts manifesting in missed deadlines, health issues and decline in mindfulness.
All of us have our own strengths and limitations. We have to feel good about our own strengths, be kind in helping others leverage our strengths and explore many possibilities that we might not have thought of. Rather than being at peace with oneself, we must not sweat to chase unrealistic goals.
Companies must promote an environment of mutual trust and dignity to spread happiness.