Happiness is the best measurement of success according to Sir Richard Branson

I’d like to quote Sir Richard Branson’s LinkedIn blog post this week as it touches a subject near and dear to all HR professionals, and is the subject of many a management meeting… happiness in life and work.

“A happy workforce makes for a more successful and productive team.”

How happy are you?

How much has your company grossed this quarter?

Which question is more important to you? If you are more concerned about the latter, then one suspects the answer to the former is not going to be very positive.

With this in mind, I was delighted to hear the Bhutanese have introduced a Minister for Happiness. 

This Himalayan kingdom has a new measurement of national prosperity too – “gross national happiness”. By focussing on people’s well-being rather than economic productivity, there is likely to be a knock-on effect for business too. After all, a happy workforce makes for a more successful and productive team.

Success and money can contribute to happiness, but happiness itself is another thing altogether. Words like ‘family’, ‘friends’, ‘love’ and ‘laughter’ have a lot more to do with happiness than words like ‘gross’, ‘capital’ and ‘revenue’.

Money is a by-product of bigger, more meaningful goals such as passion, fun and wisdom. As I’ve said before, have fun, do good, and the money will come.

Source: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20121109141247-204068115-what-s-the-best-measurement-for-success-happiness

HR professionals in Britain are the mostly likely to cite work-life balance as a primary motivation for employees leaving their organisation, that’s according to research by Robert Half International.

The research, which surveyed HR executives across businesses in South America, continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia, showed that almost 29% of respondents from Britain said work-life balance was one of the biggest reasons for employees leaving the business.


What’s the problem?

If a healthy work-life balance is such a motivator of people then it seems that Sir Branson’s outlook is one shared by many. Why then do so many companies find it so hard to instil a little flexibility into the day to day working life?

If an employee needs to take an extra half hour to drop off the kids at school or need work from home to wait for the gas man, they’ll pay the company back in spades, with increased effort as soon as they’re back to their desk. The organisation gets a more productive employee, whilst the individual need not feel the pressure of day to day tasks that get in the way of their work. These mundane problems often distract employees. If managers give a little they’ll get a lot in return, and everybody’s happy!

John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.

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