Organizational happiness – The three angles to watch for

organizational cultureI have been asked this question several times ‘What would you do to make your company a happy work place’?
The answer is not so straightforward, but it is obvious that it is not one person alone who can create a happy workplace. It is everyone’s responsibility to achieve this.

Organizational culture however is the most important foundation to achieve this. I wanted to bring out the reasons for unhappy and disengaged workplaces, which in turn will help us bring out the methods, which can create happy work places.

I would clearly divide the organization’s happiness into three buckets
a.Employee alignment with the job
b.Employee engagement at the work place
c.Employee’s personal beliefs and factors external to work

More than forty percent of employees globally feel unhappy because they are unclear of their objectives in the organization. Each and everyone in the organization wants to have clarity for their existence and be part of the team which comes out with some outcomes. More than money, sense of accomplishment is what drives employees across the organization. The mistake many do is to hire the best person for a position where the job is not as challenging
as they expect. This leaves most of the people dissatisfied with their contribution as the platform they get is not as challenging as what they look forward to accomplish every day.

Another common mistake many organizations do is hire to fill positions. The position in general has a job description but little clarity on the growth path and alignment to the organization’s goals.

The second piece is the employee engagement. This is a major outcome of the organization culture. The famous proverb ‘As you sow, so shall you reap’ is a perfect metaphor to describe how organizational culture relates to employee engagement.

Lack of transparency from top management would lead to a similar outcome at every level leading to distrust. Great organizations have clear goals and perfect alignment.
The reinforcement thereafter happens with a good organizational culture giving not only a positive image of the organization but also a great sense of belonging to the employees.

The less controllable bucket is the employee’s personal life and external ecosystem. I have observed that great work culture helps employees to cope up with personal issues far better. Colleagues at work
place are more accommodating,company policies help employees to settle personal matters and in many cases,an ex-employee can even join back.

With these three clear buckets of employee happiness and engagement it becomes easy for us to understand as to what can make our workplace a great and happy place to work.

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar is Managing Partner of SRKay Consulting group, a private equity company, nurturing innovative ventures. Alok also serves on the board of ICCL (Indian Clearing Corporation Limited - A subsidiary of BSE- Bombay Stock Exchange) as an external advisor for technology and information security. Prior to this, Alok had been Managing Director of Sears IT & Management Services India Private Limited (SHI) since its inception in December 2009 and served in the same position till very recently. Having been in senior IT management positions in Fortune 500 companies, Alok has won several national and international awards. Alok is instrumental in planning and setting up SHI and thereafter growing it to a multi-locational thousand-plus people organization. Over the last five years, with his strategic vision, Alok helped SHI grow roots in India, develop and support technology applications and infrastructure across core mainframe, cutting edge e-Commerce and big data technologies. With his unique people-oriented transformational leadership style, Alok turned SHI into one of the most valued investments of Sears, garnering great ROIs, and creating value much beyond cost arbitrage. Under his tutelage, SHI has filed two patents and is recognized widely for its best practices in various areas, the latter, currently featured in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) case studies. SHI also became a CMMI Level 3, PCMM Level 3, and ISO 20000 certified organization. Alok is a widely acclaimed corporate leader in India today. He regularly participates and leads various forums as a keynote speaker and is an author of several books in different genres. Alok has several awards to his credit. He is particularly known in the industry for his people management skills and innovative ideas in improving the productivity of employees through unique people practices. He has been credited with the following industry awards: ¬ Emerging Leader of the Year award 2013 by ¬ Game Changer CEO of the Year 2013 (SHRM) ¬ CIO 100 - The Bold CIOs - 2008 (Reliance Infosolutions) ¬ CIO - Ones to Watch Award 2008 (Reliance Industries) ¬ Extended Manager Award - CIOL 2004 (Tata Teleservices) As an able leader of SHI, Alok got SHI recognized widely in the industry with the following several awards: ¬ CII Award for HR Best Practices in 2014 ¬ Global Excellence in Outsourcing Award - AIOP (Phoenix 2013) ¬ IT Innovation Award (Design & Engineering) - Computer Society of India 2012 ¬ Golden Company of the Year - Economic Times 2011-12 ¬ 7th Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Mumbai, India) 2013: • ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ Award • ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with business • HR Leadership Award • Talent Management Award by Bloomberg TV India ¬ Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Singapore, Asia) 2013: • 7th rank in ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ award • Award for ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with the business • HR Leadership Award Other recognitions: Alok had served on the distinguished panel of NASSCOM's GIC (Global In-house Centers) National Council members. The council members play a key role in major initiatives of the industry and include the torch bearers of IT industry as panel members. Books and Papers: Alok is an established author, with three books to his credit. Alok’s third and latest book, a novel, “The Spy from Unaula” is a 2015 publication. A handwriting analysis enthusiast, Alok collaborated with his wife Nandani on the book, “Handwriting Speaks” in 2006. “Value Sourcing – Future of IT Outsourcing” was co-authored with Keith Sherwell (currently CIO, Altice USA) and was released in 2013. Alok also researched and published two whitepapers: a. “Creating next generation captives” talks about the best practices that are helping generate higher value from the IT company captives.

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1 Response

  1. Kaustubh Joshi says:

    Another very good article:)..the flat organization structure along with the ideas mentioned
    in the article will bring down the Attrition rate and extracting BEST out of the hired/salaried employees
    ….i think only one point is missing :calling back ex employees who got potential of making the difference..

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