The Chief Happiness Officer is responsible for happiness at work and is becoming increasingly popular at French Companies. The role involves improving the employee experience by helping them feel more fulfilled in their work. But what exactly does that entail?
What’s a Chief Happiness Officer?
The position was born in Silicon Valley, in the United States. Although its appearance in France is still recent, more and more startups and large companies have been seduced by this promising profession. More than just a fun job title, the Chief Happiness Officer (CHO) is someone with the ability to intervene for both HR and internal communications in a company.
As a guarantor of employee well-being, the CHO ensures that the balance between private and professional life is respected and works to develop employees’ sense of belonging. Armed with strong listening and initiative skills, they may need to rethink workplace design, resolve conflicts or implement activities to meet employees’ different needs. The goal is to offer everyone the opportunity to reach their full potential in their work.
Productivity and Well-being at work
Why hire a Chief Happiness Officer and make well-being at work a priority? Because happiness and productivity go hand in hand! Research conducted by the University of Warwick revealed that the productivity of happy employees is 12% higher than that of their less happy colleagues. According to Olivier Gélis, Managing Director of Robert Half’s recruitment firm, “Happy employees tend to be more involved, more loyal, more creative and more productive than dissatisfied employees. Creating a positive culture that motivates employees and increases their satisfaction allows companies to remain competitive and directly influences their results.” However, sources of happiness are not the same for all employees. A report entitled “The secrets of successful companies and employees“, produced in 2016 by Robert Half in collaboration with Happiness Works, revealed that there are differences according to the age, gender and field of activity of the people interviewed. For example, for women, wellbeing comes from having a sense of accomplishment. For men, however, well-being at work comes from a sense of fairness and respect. For 18-34 year olds, being proud of your business is the most important thing.
The Chief Happiness Officer and Quality of Life
The job of a must above all be based on identifying and taking the specific needs of each employee into account. The success of an approach aimed at improving the employee experience is based on the personalization of the actions implemented and not on a single model that could be copied and pasted ad infinitum. Finally, the recruitment of a Chief Happiness Officer must be part of a sincere effort to improve employee well-being. It must serve a real change of philosophy within companies and must not constitute a simple communication change. According to a study conducted by the Malakoff Médéric group in May 2017, 75% of managers believe that in the future, quality of life at work will be a major concern for companies, particularly to increase competitiveness, improve social climate and control absenteeism. As for employees, 97% believe that the quality of life at work contributes to increasing the company’s performance.
In light of these results, it is highly likely that the responsibilities of the CHO position will evolve over the years in order to respond more effectively to the needs of tomorrow’s business.