By Laia Cardona, on 21 August 2023
Though not directly related to marketing, employee happiness in the workplace is a very important thing for companies to prioritize. Though it is still not very common, one of the most important positions that can help a company do they successfully is a Chief Happiness Officer, or CHO.
Companies all over the world are realizing that happy employees are more productive and motivated, so let's review the roles and responsibilities of a CHO.
What Is a Chief Happiness Officer?
A Chief Happiness Officer is, as the name implies, the person responsible for employee wellness and happiness within a company. Companies that have this position demonstrate that they consider work to be a source of personal satisfaction.
Although this responsibility falls on the CHO’s shoulders, they never work alone. It is up to each and every member of the company, from the board of directors to individual employees, to make an effort to actively participate in creating a happy company.
The Chief Happiness Officer’s 10 Main Tasks
What exactly does a Chief Happiness Officer do in their day-to-day work? These are the 10 main tasks.
1. Making Sure Employees Feel Valued
Our emotions do not get left at the door when we arrive at work, they come in and stick with us all day. Realizing this is a fundamental step to building a happy company.
2. Guarantee the Basics
For employees to be motivated and fulfilled in their work, the first thing they need is good salaries and working conditions.
3. Listening to Employees
To understand what makes employees happy, you need to listen to them. This is the only way to figure out when something is not going well and what can be done to make it better. At Cyberclick for example, we use a Happiness Traffic Light to check in once a week.
4. Value Day to Day Work
Nothing burns people out more quickly than feeling like their efforts are not appreciated. Therefore, one of the CHO’s duties is to make sure employees know that their work matters.
5. Grant Freedom
If you want your team members to surprise you with their skills and abilities, give them the freedom to organize their own work and schedules. This allows them to adapt their work to their personal life, rather than the other way around, making them much more productive and motivated.
6. Support Growth
Work can and should be a source of personal fulfillment. In order to feel this, people need to have room to grow, educate themselves, and learn continuously. The CHO should help make sure they have the resources and means to do this within their workspace.
7. Help Manage Time
As opposed to strict and rigid office hours, a happy company needs to recognize the importance of a work-life balance. Details such as flexible working hours and holidays make employees feel taken care of and satisfied.
8. Create a Positive Work Environment
It’s not just about productivity and salaries: employees should also enjoy their work. This is the Chief Happiness Officer’s key goal.
9. Encourage Teamwork
Positive, functioning teams indicate a functioning company, not only in terms of productivity but also in terms of overall happiness. In order to promote and encourage this, the CHO should organize events like team building activities, retreats, and others that build a sense of community.
10. Empower Employees
The more power employees have regarding the company and how it works, the more emotional energy they will invest in it and the more satisfied they will feel every day. At Cyberclick, for example, we make sure each and every employee gets involved in the recruitment process of a new colleague. They have the final word and decision.
How to Measure Happiness in Your Company
After winning the Best Work Places Pymes 2014 prize, many have asked us what the secret to having a happy company is. The thing is, it’s no secret. We all have some idea about what makes us more or less happy and what we can do to improve the work environment for employees.
At Cyberclick, we do many things to try to improve the happiness of everyone at the company including scheduling regular internal trainings, empowering people, and valuing their achievements.
However, what good is trying to create a happy environment if you do not ask people what they enjoy and care about? You can measure employee happiness by directly asking your employees how they feel. Some ideas to do this are asking the following questions:
What mood were you in when you started work today?
What mood are you in leaving work today?
From 1 to 5, how much did you enjoy what you did today?
At the end of the form, you can include an open space where employees can share comments, ideas, etc.
At Cyberclick, we analyze employees' "traffic lights" every week to assess the level of red, yellow, green, and "super greens" from the previous week. We try to clarify what has affected employees' happiness levels and see how we can collectively make the current week better than the previous one.
This is our way of measuring happiness, but there are many others.
Rocket Space in San Francisco asks employees to press the button that best expresses their mood before leaving at the end of the day.
Another idea is to use the Luxafor indicator, a small LED light you put on your computer screen to indicate to colleagues when they can talk to you and when you would rather they didn't according to your level of work and concentration.
Happiness and Vacation Time
According to numerous studies and specialists, there tends to be a correlation between happiness and efficiency. Perhaps it is for this very reason that, with four weeks of vacation, Finland topped the rankings as the happiest country according to the World Happiness Report 2021.
Having a balance between work and personal life in the summer is another factor that contributes to the wellbeing and success of workers.
How Vacation Time Positively Affects Well Being
There is also a correlation between the happiness of a country and its competitiveness when it comes to the time off it offers its employees. Switzerland, Germany, and many of the Nordic countries often lead the World Economic Forum on the competitiveness of countries, with four to five weeks of vacation time. Of the 20 most efficient OECD countries, the United States is the only one without regulated vacations. The rest provide more than 20 days per year.
How to Celebrate Happiness
At Cyberclick we take every opportunity to celebrate!
What do we do at Cyberclick? David Tomas, Cofounder of Cyberclick, gives us a book related to happiness every year. It’s a surprise, and until it appears, no one knows which book will show up on their desk on World Book Day.
Our company’s headquarters are located in Barcelona, Spain, where World Book Day is also a local holiday. Because of this, every book is accompanied by a rose. The streets of Barcelona are full of bookstores setting up their stands and several literary events are organized around the city. It has also become somewhat of a tradition here in our company. The whole team eagerly awaits their book and rose.
We invite you to consider doing something similar at your company!
As you can see, there are many ways to work toward improving collective happiness. Whether you use our methods or come up with your own, we encourage you to think about what you could implement at your workplace!