We are looking for a manager who brings happiness. It’s a requirement for the position to believe that people can be motivated by something else other than money.
Six years ago, The Times online edition published in its classified section the ad you just read. The position was to be director of happiness and coordinate a project, “the Happiness Movement” (Action for Happiness), from the Center for Economic Performance of the London School of Economics.
“The movement rejects the focus on materialism and obsessive individualism, and instead prioritizes healthy relationships with others and meaningful activities as ways to live happier,” says economist Richard Layard, a British lawmaker and professor at the London School of Economics.
And it is thanks to this “Happy Manager”, “Feelgood Manager”, “Chief Happiness Officer” or “Happiness Team Manager” that your employees smile before, during and after work. This new Silicon Valley-born role is recently joining the Human Resources department.
What does a happy manager do?
Its main task is to attract and retain talent for the company through work happiness strategies, as well as keep people happy so that they feel comfortable and have the conviction to stay in the organization.
It’s a relatively new job and quite complex, but fun to observe. A highly valued figure, sociable, communicative and empathetic, who makes the staff happy because he knows better than anyone how to guide them to work under an environment of trust, motivation and respect.
If your company bets on the value of people and the profitability of a happy employee, you need an expert in work happiness to create a powerful employer branding that transmits the culture of the company and also manages to make them fall in love and retain new work talent.
The happy manager must be dynamic, proactive, natural leader and motivational speaker, able to maintain a consistency between what their collaborators should be, do, and say. Some of the benefits they bring to work teams would be:
- Greater freedom to express creativity and ideas to work efficiently
- Greater sense of belonging to the company and less resistance to change
- Lower level of stress, absenteeism and staff turnover
- Better performance that increases labor productivity
- Better work harmony environment, becoming a competitive advantage when recruiting
“At the core of the competition to be happy, is a philosophy of life based on the potential capabilities of the individual. In the future, the economy and the human being will approach this issue from different perspectives”.
Matthias Horx, German trend analyst and futurist, editor of “2000x”, a newsletter about the future.
Working and being happy is possible!
David Tomás, co-founder of Cyberclick and Spanish author of the books “The happiest company in the world” and “A millennial Diary”, is a pioneer in how to implement value and human sense in the business culture of the 21st century.
It was through a process where he discovered what could be the best formulas to create a company in which everyone has a good time and enjoy their work, which resulted in the result of Chief Empathy Officer. David named himself that way to always keep in mind that the most important thing in a company is empathy.
It’s worth analyzing some of the characteristics of this Empathy CEO to see if you fit into them:
Is aware of other people’s emotions.
It distributes 80% of its time to expanding the strengths of its staff, 15% to learning something new that will help it improve further, and the remaining 5% to work on its weaknesses.
Knows how to respond to adverse situations.
He knows how to handle language according to each situation, asking powerful questions, transformative ones, inviting to action, and avoids the irrational impulses that we would usually make in a hostile scenario.
Ability to self-regulate his emotions.
He manages to empower himself with what he feels and knows how to channel it properly, becoming a more assertive person to respond to what is presented. He masters the techniques of conscious self-observation, meditation and mindfulness.
He always strives to give his best.
It seeks to understand rather than judge and gets to know what others feel, how they act and why they adopt certain behaviors. This is achieved by living in the present and with less attachment to the expectations of others.
It is highly sensitive and manages to connect honestly, directly and deeply.
He knows how to empathize in his purest expression. He generates bonds of trust by listening carefully to the needs of others, thus managing to put himself in their place and, thanks to their far sighted quality, anticipates finding the best answer to their situation.
Can you point out how a paradigm shift is enough to generate a positive effect on leadership if it is done from empathy? It makes it more aware, collaborative and affective, appealing to the intangible formula, the most important for Tomás, an avid enthusiast that working and being happy is possible. I didn’t say it, he did in his TEDx talk under the same name.
This formula he speaks about applies not only to young people, but also to elder ones, who have changed the worldview and values. Time has become for them a priority asset to achieve happiness, and the management of this a priority both personal and professional.
Following on from intangible examples, many digital companies currently hire User Happiness Directors to cushion service errors and ensure that the customer experience is almost enjoyable.
Dan Russell, who does that work at Google, said at a conference that happiness is related to the speed in which each person is able to do a basic search on the Internet. What, then, would be the next step your company needs to take besides happy management? Very easy: becoming a smart company.
Smart companies are happy companies. They care about the well-being of their people, implement strategies in favor of their professional development and job, social and personal growth. This translates into collaborators who project a good attitude when assuming tasks and responsibilities outside of their official functions because they know that they will be recognized for their good intentions.
In addition to that, your company will know how to face the competitive environment and the challenges it currently presents, where happy management will promote the following qualities in each of your workers:
- Leveraging their talents to achieve superior performance in the company
- The development of their skills that make them feel important in their role within the company
- The collaboration in its self-realization that will strengthen the bonds of trust with the company
“There are two important days in your life, the day you are born and the day you find out why”. Mark Twain, American writer, speaker, and humorist
With all of the above, a new question arises: Can work happiness be managed? For Coca-Cola, the answer is yes. Seeking to be a scientific reference in the study of happiness, the Coca-Cola Institute of Happiness emerged in Spain, covering two fundamental objectives: research and dissemination regarding this topic.
Coca-Cola has reached the point of creating a happiness congress, with the best scientists related to psychology as speakers. Among their contributions, they have mentioned that the needs of competence, relationship and autonomy are non-material needs that matter equally or more than material ones.
In 2013, they prepared a macro survey through the consulting firm Millward Brown to a sample of 3,500 respondents, from which two key points were extracted about being be happy at work:
- They feel useful and see that what they do corresponds to their training and interest
- They have the recognition of both managers and co-workers
Currently, the word “happiness” produces more than 22 million results in Spanish and about 70 million in English. If being happy is part of the leading process, you could create business models based on happiness that offer opportunities to contribute into developing societies where people truly are happy.
This versatility could amplify new perspectives of happiness directly related to the profitability of a business. Soon we will address tools such as the science of happiness and the economics of happiness that will help you obtain doubly prepared people, distinguishing themselves by raising the human and monetary quality, individual and collective of the company.