So sang John Lennon. But can money buy you happiness? When it comes to the workplace I’ve been having lots of conversations with clients about money recently. That’s because, with the latest inflation figures coming in at 5% and hot on the heels of the so called, “great resignation,” organisations are worried about rewarding and retaining their staff. It costs a lot to recruit, train and retain people so it makes sense for companies to consider rates of pay, benefits and working conditions carefully.
The short answer is yes. So far, so what?! Of course earning more money makes you happier I hear you cry. And that’s true – it also protects people from things which might make them unhappier, e.g. a divorce. Add to that the moral perspective of paying your staff what they’re worth and you could come to the conclusion that, as long as you pay people fairly they will perform. If only it were that simple. Money contributes to happiness when it helps us meet basic needs but the research tells us that above a certain level more money doesn’t actually yield more happiness.
Insights from, The Happiness Indicator, show that aside from the pure financials, these factors are also important:
• Feeling valued as an individual
• Doing a job that you enjoy
• Work-life balance
• Trust in the people you work with
So what can you as an Employer, do about that? Here are some top tips to help you come up with a priority list for 2022:
• Tailored and flexible programmes designed to reward and recognise employees at all levels
• Reward initiatives needn’t be expensive – start small and ensure the message is authentic and tailored to the individual
• Initiatives such as improving communication play a critical role in developing an open, transparent and accountable culture
• Implementing a flexible working approach is an effective way to demonstrate trust. This ranges from working at home days and flexi-time to more straightforward practices such as stopping the interruptions that disrupt our natural flow of work – we’ve all had to learn this quickly during the past 2 years of remote working!
• Personal relationships are key along with teamwork and inter-departmental integration to ensure there is greater collaboration
• Career development – demonstrate how employees can grow within the organisation and help the business succeed – document and revisit this in regular review sessions
• Give employees some discretion over their development path – people are more likely to be motivated when pursuing self-determined goals
If that list has you scratching your head – I’m here to help. If you’d like support with any of these initiatives, particularly if you’re struggling to prioritise where to start and what your focus should be for the year ahead, do get in touch.
Wishing all the Boxmoor Direct readers a very Happy New Year!
By Ruth George – HR Consultant
This is not legal advice and is provided for general information only. © Ruth George HR Consulting.