WorkHuman is this week and it’s one of the new transformative conferences on the landscape within the HR industry. The next generation of user conference (WorkHuman is sponsored by GloboForce) which is how do you engage an audience with awesome content and engage your brand without constantly shoving a sales pitch down your throat! WorkHuman has it figured out!
One of the best sessions had to be from happiness researcher Shawn Achor. The former Harvard researcher laid out a compelling argument on why organizations at all levels should be focusing on helping their employees be more happy. He had great examples from organizations that have focused on his research (see video below) that have gotten great results on higher productivity, higher retention and creating an environment that is more human to work in!
The whole conversation got me thinking of the chicken or egg scenario. What comes first an employee who is happy, or a happy employee? Can you really make an unhappy person happy?
We all have that co-worker that never seems happy. They’re Eyore! Nothing ever goes right for them, nothing will ever be good, they always see the worst in every situation. I believe if you went backwards in their career with your organization, and you could see their interview, you would immediately pick up on the fact this was their core personality!
It makes sense to think that chronically unhappy people are going to be hard to make happy, thus, will probably be less effective as an employee. If as the research shows that happy people are more productive than unhappy people, or less happy people.
All skills being relatively the same, I would bet my career on the fact that if you then only focused on hiring the most happy people, you would have the same results that Shawn speaks of, without all on the ongoing programs.
Happy people, tend to be happy people almost always. It’s their natural zen. It’s where they like to live. Their natural state is to be happy. So, I would theorize that hiring those happy people would have a lasting positive impact to your organization.
Now we just need a great pre-hire assessment that measures someone’s natural level of happiness. I would think Shawn probably has the actual validated questions we could use. It would be nice if he just handed those over and let us started doing this!
Chicken or the Egg. You can try and make your employees happy, or you can hire happy people. Or, you could do both!