Employee Happiness – 6 Myths & Realities for you
I have spoken extensively about employee happiness and how companies seek to improve their profits with happier employees. However it is important for all of us to know where our energies should be focused to get the best results.
Myth 1: Great people management can keep the employees happy.
Reality : You cannot make a person happy or unhappy by great people practices. At best, you can keep them well engaged. Happiness is personal to every individual but as office is like a second home to every working professional, having a great work place plays a critical part in keeping the employee happy, but is not the only reason.
Myth 2: Following bell curve strictly speaks about the ability of the company’s great HR practices and their adherence.
Reality: Traditional HR practices of keeping strict bell curve were based on the ability to pay out to their employees based on a fixed percentage of top, high and average performers. This math created a compulsion of sorts in most of the organizations to follow the bell curve strictly. Such a practice ended up suffocating a lot of great performers as the fixed percentage based bucketing did not allow several of them to be suitably recognized. This normally resulted in creating an average performing organization where a lot of potentially good performers leave regularly or not taking efforts to perform high as they feel their abilities not recognized due to such rigid systems.
Myth 3: Bell curve is necessary as the payout to employees happens based on the commitment given to them, which is predefined based on their performance rating.
Reality: The chicken and egg story repeats itself here. Just because we plan to distribute the available funds to employees in a fair method, we device the bell curve under a notion that the management defined numbers only are the right mix of performers. Most of the progressive companies have junked this old model and have abolished the bell curve. The only decision what management has to take here is that the payout finally happens only based on the funds available with the company and not with a predefined percentage. Surveys reveal that most of the employees feel happy to get right acknowledgement of their performance instead of money with unfair acknowledgement.
Myth 4: Great organizations can keep employees engaged and happy all the time.
Reality: It is not possible for any organization to keep every employee engaged every time. Even the best organizations have failed to keep their infallible image over a period of time. It is generally seen that happiness of individual employees has more selfish motives and in most of the cases not necessarily aligned to the organizational goals. However, great organizations most of the time are able to create an environment of engagement where individuals understands that their alignment with organizational goals is directly linked to their benefits which would in turn make them happy.
Myth 5: Employees look for a brand name to feel engaged and feel pride
Reality: Brand only gives the initial feeling of safety and engagement. However just like a platoon of army commandoes, they get engaged only with a great team and their leader. This ultimately is very local and personal and overwrites the value of brand quickly. It is rightly said: Employees leave their managers and not the companies.
Myth 6: Good policies and a lot of practices in people areas means a great people oriented company.
Reality: A company can only create a framework of practices and policies on which ultimately people have to walk upon. Only good and caring colleagues and great leaders make a great people oriented company, everything else supports that.
What would you like to add to this list? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below