Head HR, InterGlobe Enterprises On Maintaining Employee Happiness Quotient
Organizations are going above and beyond to ensure the physical & mental wellness of their employees with multiple initiatives to help them tide through these testing times.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of the VUCA world we live in. From celebrating the beginning of a new decade just over three months ago, to witnessing an unprecedented chain of events around the world, is nothing short of a sci-fi movie. It has penetrated all over the world, jeopardizing every aspect of life be it psychological, physical, social or financial.
Organizations are struggling to find ways to maintain business continuity. However, if we look closely, the organizations have never been this sensitive about their employees ever before. Organizations are going above and beyond to ensure the physical & mental wellness of their employees with multiple initiatives to help them tide through these testing times.
Why do you think employers are doing so much for employees, when they can also play victim of this pandemic? What has been advocated for so long has become as clear as daylight – Happy employees create successful organizations. Employee wellbeing is a priority for all organizations. And since, happiness is an outcome of wellbeing, it’s important for organizations to keep a track of “Happiness Quotient” of their employees.
In words of Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman – Happiness is “what I experience here and now”. To ensure that happiness quotient of organizations is maintained during these difficult times, the golden circle – WHY, HOW & WHAT our employees are experiencing and feeling - should be known. It’s a no brainer that we all are feeling anxious, insecure, scared by what is happening around us. It is important to know, how we can address all these feelings and create an environment of well-being and trust for our employees.
The well-known Maslow’s hierarchy of needs fits well in the current context of COVID-19. Maslow categorized needs into physiological, safety, social, esteem, and ultimately self-actualization.
• The physiological and safety needs are primary & fundamental and such needs usually emerge from the feeling of deprivation, which develops a sense of anxiety and stress. Organizations need to ensure that these hygiene needs of employees are met, by ensuring simple but important activities like salaries are paid on time, jobs security is ensured as far as possible. Safety needs, in the case of COVID-19 can be as basic as the feeling of being protected and safe (from the infection) at workplace. This can be addressed by allowing employees to work from home even after the mandatory lockdown is over, ensuring that they have all the required resources including IT Infrastructure, to perform well. The organizations should also plan for efficient roster / workplace planning for their employees to maintain social distancing over the next few months.
• The social need relates to the sense of belongingness. In current scenario, most of the employees are working remotely with limited interaction with their colleagues. This may lead to a situation where employees have a reduced sense of belongingness to their organization. It is thus important that employers ensure a very robust employee communication plan. Additionally,
companies should encourage virtual connects among employees, making it mandatory for leaders to reach out to their larger teams & checking on them regularly.
• Once the above three needs are attained, the fourth level of esteem needs would have to be addressed. Organizations can felicitate & recognize the good work being done by employees even during these testing times, which will form the seabed of motivation across the entire organization. Additionally, organizations should encourage their employees to get involved in their hobbies during such times & appreciate these efforts by leveraging the available social platforms.
• The self-actualization stage reflects the urge to help the community at large in this difficult time. Organizations should come forward and create safe platforms for employees to contribute towards this cause. These activities give an opportunity to employees to get immersed & stay engaged in doing something for the society at large.
Once an organization is able to identify the needs of its employees, it can channel its energy and resources to fulfil them. This would create a feeling of well-being among the employees and in turn create a happy workforce. The ways to address these needs may differ from one company to another depending on their realities, but only the organizations that invest in the happiness of employees today will come out stronger and much more successful once this pandemic is behind us.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house