The puzzle of job happiness

Pierre Côté launched the Relative Happiness Index in 2006 and the Happiness at Work Index in 2009. (Photo: courtesy)

“It’s simple, but it’s complicated”, summarizes Pierre Côté, talking about job happiness and how to promote it for companies, which is the subject of his book. You smile, you’re at work.

“People don’t understand that our happiness comes from others and others come from us,” explained the author and speaker in a telephone interview.

In his book, he argues that “the main reason why a person declares himself satisfied with his work is the same in life in general: the feeling of success”. The person who launched the Relative Happiness Index in 2006 and the one at work in 2009 relied on all the answers provided by participants in recent years to make his or her conclusions.

He added that a healthy working climate is the other pillar of job well -being. However, it is easier said than done.

Foster relationships

One of the keys to creating a harmonious work environment and improving the level of employee recognition is consulting with them.

“If I don’t listen inside, I deprive myself of 90% of the solutions that will be provided,” Pierre Côté said. We do not know the wealth of our world. You have to be receptive, even if of the 20 ideas submitted, only one is good. Some say this is not productive time, but it is an important part of understanding and improving dynamics in the workplace. »

Therefore, it recommends setting up consultation mechanisms, such as discussion forums and frequent meetings. But he warns that the approach must be “serious and sensible, otherwise we will be quickly exposed”.

Ping-pong is good, but …

Money cannot buy happiness, so to speak. This is also true at work.

“We work for pennies, but this is among the less important factors in the scope of job happiness, underline the one who became director of research at Léger. In fact, once the salary issue was fixed, it was no longer really it influences our daily life. It can even lead to the golden phenomenon in prison: let us stay in a job we are not satisfied with because the salary is high. »

He argues that the recognition offered, without being demanded, is important. “It’s to take an interest in people, to strengthen them, to listen, to be polite, he lists. It takes kindness and patience, but it pays off. »

He believes that it is therefore more important for the work environment than a ping-pong table, the espresso machine, a training room as well as other facilities that are supposed to please the staff. She says it’s all “beautiful make-up”.

“I know it’s hard to read for business leaders who have put effort and money into creating these environments,” he wrote. These initiatives are born in good faith, but ultimately, they act a bit like “plasters”. They help decision makers to clear their conscience or get a good speech. »

Long live the promise!

One of the foundations of happiness is to feel committed. SMEs have an advantage here.

“In a large organization, it’s harder to understand the importance of what you’re doing,” he said. The more you are in small business, the closer you are to power, so you have a definite influence. Moreover, on average, the larger the company, the lower the level of happiness. »

For larger companies, creating smaller divisions is an effective way, he says, to create that commitment and strengthen the sense of belonging that comes with it.

Companies that develop their values, what they aspire to, are more likely to succeed. The employer brand has become an important membership standard for millennials who want to work in a company that supports certain principles.

Pierre Côté said that companies have taken major steps over the past 10 years to promote the welfare of their employees: “Job happiness, I repeat, does not lead to losers. What winners. And in the context of labor shortages and the preferences of Generation Y, it is necessary for companies to allocate enough energy to it.

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