HR and happiness – what your HR could be doing to make people happy

Everyone knows that a happy team is a big benefit to an organisation. Happy teams are more productive and more loyal. They effectively become ambassadors for your company.

But a happy workplace doesn’t normally just happen. It can take thought and planning. Some of that will be down to your Human Resources team. So, how do HR and happiness go together?

Because recent surveys have shown that only about 1 in 4 employees feel content in their current role. What could your HR be doing to make people happy?

HR and happiness – what you could be doing

1) Provide opportunities to grow and learn

One thing tops polls of what attracts people to jobs more than almost any other. That’s the ability to learn and grow and gain the skills they need either personally or to advance their career.

Training opportunities have a high happiness value attached to them. Yet this doesn’t always need to be a formal course leading to a professional qualification.

Many people place just as much value on being offered the chance to become a coach or mentor (or to get coaching and mentoring), build new skills through shadowing schemes, or learn all kinds of soft skills that aren’t necessarily immediately applicable to their role.

2) Choose emotionally intelligent managers

The influence exerted by team leaders and managers is well understood. Everyone has worked under a leader with a difficult attitude or methods, so you’re likely to know the kind of problems unsuitable promotions can lead to.

Yet promoting high performers (for example, top members of your sales team) to leadership positions is incredibly common. Almost as commonly, it backfires.

Instead, the best way to facilitate a happy, productive, and effective team is to promote leaders who have:

  • Soft skills in things like clear communication
  • Good emotional intelligence with a firm grasp of social and human interactions
  • The desire to encourage and support rather than berate

3) Think about happiness in team composition

Some team members are naturally more positive and cheerful in the workplace than others. Building teams around at least one or two of your more positive employees (factoring required skills into account, of course) can be hugely beneficial.

You do need to be sure that the more positive team members are bringing the slightly less happy ones “up” rather than the reverse. But otherwise, teaching leaders how to build teams with happiness and positivity in mind is a good strategy as far as happiness is concerned.

It’s also often worth talking to team leaders and managers about their own attitude and how beneficial positivity can be. If you feel your message isn’t going home, it might be time for some company-wide soft skills training.

4) Give your flexible and remote working set-up some love

Most companies in a vast swathe of industries now realise how much of an auto-include some degree of flexible working is. Most recruiters will tell you it’s not really an employee “benefit” any more. It’s the default. People are leaving companies because other employers offer it.

Yet in many organisations, the remote working arrangements are either grudging or worryingly ad hoc (as cybersecurity specialists, members of the Dial A Geek team have been known to have heart palpitations when some set-ups for remote employees are revealed).

As well as the tech, there are many organisations where different teams are allowed different flexible working arrangements. Some are allowed to work from home. Some can’t even slightly change their start time. Occasionally, this is required for the work. Often, it’s simply a leftover.

There’s also the issue of accidental discrimination against hybrid and fully remote team members. It’s easy enough to overlook them when opportunities for further training or promotion come up, simply because they’re less visible (studies on the career negatives of home working are startling).

All in all, full and careful consideration of home, flexible, and remote working arrangements is vital for a happy workplace. It can also be important to promote social links between in-office and remote team members. Your HR team can help ensure this is even across the board.

5) Check-in regularly

Performance reviews used to be a cause of stress and worry for individuals. Others found them a complete waste of time and effort. So did some HR teams!

These days, at least in companies with positive cultures, performance reviews are much more collaborative. They’re more of a way to collect feedback so both parties can improve and feel happier as a result.

Your HR team can help spread this more positive – and, above all, useful – way of employing the old one-on-one meetings with line managers. A good one-to-one will:

  • Help make your team feel listened to and valued
  • Understand employee needs and how you can get better performance from them
  • Achieve key business objectives by communicating expectations (on both sides)

How to make a happy and productive team

A happy team is more productive. They’re more likely to stay with you. Plus, a happy workplace is just nice to go into every day.

Of course, it’s not all down to your HR team. You and all your team and leaders contribute to the tone and culture your company gets to enjoy. It can take a little work. But the benefits are there to be seen.

Want to tick off at least those remote working set-up concerns?

Let’s talk. Dial A Geek has already helped over 900 businesses in Bristol and the UK make their tech a source of happiness for their team.

Set up a cost and commitment-free chat with Chief Geek Gildas Jones today and see what we can do for yours.