I´ve grown most of my life feeling happy and satisfied. I graduated from a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2013, and just afterwards I had a job at a stock market company where I realized that even though it was fun, it didn´t satisfy me completely, so I said to myself that I would never get a job where I did not feel passionate about.
I´ve been for almost two years at a Tech Company, where I´ve been enjoying the most! Want to know why? I enjoy because my voice is being heard, I can help others, I can contribute with my ideas, and I work with teams of people in order to build a better company, a happier place for everyone by reinforcing what every company needs: Leadership, Communication and Teamwork.
A few months ago, the CEO of the Company offered me a new area, internally we defined it as “Happiness at Work” and my job position is named “Happiness Manager”. It all sounds great right? Happy, Happy and more Happiness
Well, now the largest challenge was one. “Engage employees”. That was the only assignment I had after THE offer.
This was not an area for Elisa, but an area for the whole Company!
It was going to be hard, but not impossible. Nothing is impossible!
The first thing that I had clear, was that I needed to understand deeply how was the current level of engagement at the Company.
I made some research and try to see what would be more effective. I found out that there are several questionnaires and companies that measure organizational culture, happiness index, and other relevant information for decision taking, but I decided to built a questionnaire on my own, with the information that would provide me relevant and useful information.
It was based on three specific questions:
- The needs of the employee in order to develop his/her work in a better way.
- The areas of opportunity that he/she could identify from: boss, himself/herself, department, and company.
- The strengths of the Company.
At the beginning I thought that people were not engaged because they were not happy and I needed to understand why?
I sat with 90% of the employees for 30 minute one-on-one meetings, totally private and confidential; this part took almost 2 months; after I finished this stage, I analyzed with a group of people all the insights and information. The surprise was that it ended up being an Organizational Diagnose, not only an Engagement Diagnose. This diagnose showed the perspectives that the employees had about the Company.
During this same period, different groups of people started suggesting various activities that they wanted to do, so we did some, and the result was great!
People participate more when they feel part of something. If they are involved since the beginning they will be totally committed, and they will encourage others.
If a person wants to bring an idea to real life, that person needs to ask if others will be willing to collaborate? What do they think about that idea? If they think it will work? Or what would they change instead? Try to do some brainstorm, and then invite them to join the good cause. The best ideas come from a simple idea that was filled with other great ideas from creative minds.
People like speaking and being heard, and that their voices become actions, sometimes they do not approach their bosses, nor other areas because they do not trust people, or they are afraid of being judged. Open the channel of conversation, have “those talks”, about the way they feel, what they want, and give them positive and negative feedback about their current job. This will make your people grow! A LOT!
People love challenges and collaborative activities. I understand not everyone like the same things, but there are several activities out there, and you can measure by just doing them. If you don´t try, you won´t know.
Here at the Company, we have discovered that some prefer arts and crafts, others board games, it just depends on the profile of people at the Company where you work, and your initiative to “Think out of the Box” or Try something different.
Nothing can go wrong! Just try, you will learn every time.
Last but not least, we know what they say “if you cannot measure things, they are not useful”, so the largest recommendation is measure every activity, initiative, participation, people involved, responses you had, surveys you made. All this information worths a lot.
Here I mentioned just few things that I´ve learned through this role so far, and I´m very excited to see how this year goes, how this will improve, and how people will become happier and better in their lives.
If we could have a positive impact in one, two employees, a group of 10, 20, it all helps!
It means you are doing something that it´s worth it.
Never leave your desk without thinking: What I did today was worth my time and effort!