(Expansión) – In 2021, the so-called Great Renunciation was the subject of many headlines in the United States, since in a relatively short period of time 33 million people left their jobs, more than a fifth of the workforce in that country.
This generated a lot of analysis, some specialists cited it as an effect of the pandemic and others indicated that it was the product of a series of adverse situations that have been going on for at least a decade. However, some others agreed on an underlying cause of the phenomenon: workers have new expectations about their working conditions and salary after having lived through the experience of the pandemic.
But not only money is a determining element in this trend that continues, many employees have reassessed their working conditions and their priorities as a result of COVID-19. High job turnover also means that many are no longer satisfied with the benefits and conditions provided by their organizations.
Big resignations are a big waste of time and money: Hiring and training workers is expensive; the odyssey of looking for a new job is hard too. Fortunately, this can be minimized through methods that provide employees with satisfaction, a sense of purpose and autonomy, but also of belonging.
Organizational happiness and positive psychology are key in this regard. The first consists of producing well-being in the collaborators and that this provides companies with a competitive advantage that cannot be imitated. It is about offering and facilitating workers the conditions and processes that allow them to enhance their individual strengths and thereby achieve goals as a group.
Organizational happiness is based on positive psychology whose approach is to develop the virtues of both people and the organization to reach their maximum performance and have organizational success.
Previously the focus was on what people had to improve and on the skills they lacked to remedy them, today the perspective is to understand the resources that each collaborator already possesses to empower them and optimize their professional development.
Both organizational happiness and positive psychology are practices based on the mission, vision and culture of each company. It is from there that you should begin to introduce issues of work by objectives, team collaboration practices, practices of well-being and empathy with others, issues of balance, stress management, active pauses and reflection, feedback positive, of gratitude within the company and of a close leadership with the people.
Happiness within companies is not moments, it has much more to do with operational processes and working conditions. And how is that achieved? Precisely providing adequate working conditions in terms of security, flexibility and balance, which is closely related to the search and implementation of transparent policies and processes.
What is achieved with it? When people are happy in their work, they are motivated, they are committed because they know they have a goal, they feel taken into account and that makes them more competitive in the market, which generates growth within the company.
Organizational happiness allows you to create much healthier and more collaborative work teams. To implement it, it is first necessary to answer the question: what makes us different as an organization? Once you have defined your value proposition and your purpose, it will be time to lead your collaborators through positive communication.
Several of the activities mentioned above can be carried out and then the pertinent forms of evaluation can be proposed. Monthly monitoring would be a good starting point, as well as applying recognition schemes linked to specific objectives. At the beginning, the indicators of happiness will be the organizational climate, surveys and performance evaluations.
Of course, this does not mean “join the optimistic club”, the idea is to learn to take advantage of the good, but also of what was not done well; stop looking for blame and guide actions towards improvement through collective cooperation.
This undoubtedly takes time because we learned to work in a very different way, but empowering people encourages better performance, which has an impact on productivity. At first there is an element of subjective perception, but at the end of the day this will translate into profitability of entire areas within a company.
In my opinion, companies can and should assume the commitment to provide their workers with the organizational conditions to provide this psychological well-being, but let’s not get confused on this point either. It is not the responsibility of companies to make people happy.
Organizational happiness is a responsibility that should ideally be assumed by the company, but happiness at work is a personal matter. In any case, we can say that organizational happiness is a co-responsibility between the company and the worker, since we cannot place the total responsibility of waking up every day to go to the office on one or the other.
Editor’s note: Estrella Vázquez is the CEO of Factor RH and a specialist in human capital development. Follow her on LinkedIn. The opinions published in this column correspond exclusively to the author.