Why it’s worth keeping employees happy, COM0011 post #3



At the last three places I’ve worked, I can’t say employees were generally happy. I was always thinking about the wasted productivity, the lack of moral, the seemingly “could care less” attitude of those higher up, and how they couldn’t see that it was hurting business. Well it turns out that I wasn’t far off the mark. Investing in the happiness of workers ends up benefiting a company or organization in several ways.

stockimages-smiling-business-womanStockimages.com, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

In a TEDxWarwick 2014 talk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx7fYv2cAy4 ), well-being researcher Nic Marks points to a Gallop pole that shows only 13% of people are working with passion and engagement. Some truly dislike their jobs, but most are just putting in their time. This didn’t surprise me based on my own experience. But we often hear that human capital is one of the most important asset a company has. So why is employee happiness being ignored?

Perhaps the majority of companies and organizations need to watch this lecture. Marks highlights another poll that in companies that did invest proactively in their employee’s happiness found a 37% lower absentee rate, 47% less turnover, 48% fewer accidents and 21% higher productivity. Sounds pretty convincing.

An interesting point he raises is an equity analyst quoted in BusinessWeek saying that a certain company (Costco) was “… focused on employees to the detriment of the shareholders.” It turns out, however, that investing in employee happiness can nearly double your return on investment.

He gives another example of the online shoe sales startup Zappos.com, which grew to a multi-million dollar business in 12 years largely because it bases its business model on the idea that happy employees make for happy customers.

With these things in mind, it’s hard to imagine how so many employees are missing what could be a win-win for all. I’d love to hear your experiences and ideas.

Looking for a job? Don’t expect privacy. (COM0011, Post #1)

Will social media determine your next job? Chances are, it will affect your possibilities more than you may think.

Employers are increasingly looking to social media to determine an applicant’s suitability for a position. A large number of people are fired not because they “…didn’t have the requisite skills, but because their personalities clashed with the company’s culture,” says a recent BBC article (http://www.bbc.com/news/business-29343425).

So I’m wondering how this affects what people say and do online. Are we really being honest about who we are, if we know that future employers will probably review and assess everything. Will social media simply become a self-promotion tool, biased towards those who are more active on its channels and more conscious of the tactics used by recruiters? Can we really build solid relations with people online when we routinely censure and tailor our online communications?

More young people trade privacy for employability

With young people finding it harder to find work, do teenagers understand the consequences their actions on social media can have in the long term?

According to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Said Business School (http://pwc.blogs.com/files/future-of-work-report-1.pdf), “more than a third of the young workers surveyed said they were happy for their employer to monitor their status updates and tweets in return for greater job security,” (http://theconversation.com/new-generation-is-happy-for-employers-to-monitor-them-on-social-media-30635).

Does this reflect a desperation in our current climate of employment, or are those young people the clever ones, already censuring and tailoring their social media life to future employers?

Employers rely on algorithms and games

I also wonder if employers, many of whom are using algorithms to filter applicants, are seeing the big picture.

“Try the following for yourself: take a moment to think about the long and winding trails of personal data that weave together to form the digital tapestry that you and others create for yourself online. Now, imagine the implications that might arise from allowing your employer to surreptitiously unpick each of these strands in isolation, with little or no knowledge of the context in which they occurred,” (http://theconversation.com/new-generation-is-happy-for-employers-to-monitor-them-on-social-media-30635).

A related point in the BBC article asks whether leaving it to algorithms may bring an employer the same kind of people, when some variety may be good for an organization.

Some companies have developed games to analyze applicants’ suitability, but I think that at least some clever people will learn how to play these, just like some people know how to swing an interview. This brings us back to the original problem of finding someone who is truly a good fit. And what if you’re just good at playing games?

So many questions, and from what I can see, few answers so far. I just hope that employers don’t start overlooking CVs and interviews completely. Actually, I wish that they couldn’t monitor our online lives at all, but that’s probably not going to happen in my lifetime.