As we endure Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year, is the onus on employers to keep their staff happy?
Yes- Mike Foster is creative director of brand design agency Straight Forward.
Keeping employees happy makes good business sense apart from anything else. Smart employers want their team members to feel fulfilled, connected to the organisation and motivated to do great work.
Carving opportunities out of the day to allow employees time to explore the things that are important to them – even if they’re not directly work-related – will promote positivity, and all that goodness will get fed back into your workstream.
If you’re not persuaded, look at Google. It famously encourages its staff members to devote 20 per cent of their time to side projects, and it continues to be one of the most innovative companies around.
It’s easy to get buried in the day-to-day: there’s too much to get through, you’re running a business, you need to keep the money coming in. But press pause and breathe and you’ll see that it is in everyone’s interests to allow team members to stretch and grow.
So loosen up – you’ll reap the rewards in spades.
No – Elena Shalneva is a communications consultant
Seeing a dip in productivity in her office, a startup friend engages an HR consultant to create an “enjoyable” work environment.
“Why are we here?” is the question the consultant poses to staff. I’ll tell you why: they are there because these are the jobs they could get.
Few of us are talented enough to make a living out of our passion, so we work in jobs that are okay and that fit with our commuting schedules. For this reason, no amount of free massages or Michelin-star lunches will make me a happy mortgage lawyer if my real dream is to be a Nobel Prize-winning novelist.
Also, have you ever met a manager who genuinely cares about your happiness? At the annual performance review, sure. But in the heat of a live project, all my boss has ever wanted is that I meet the deadline.
So please drop this HR inanity and don’t try to make workers happy – that’s outside your powers. If you want to make their jobs bearable, organise them better and pay them more.