Combating Burnout and Cultivating Workplace Happiness
With professional burnout at an all-time high, fostering a positive and joyful work environment is not a luxury — it's a necessity for both employees and employers. This past October, I attended two wellbeing conferences (Midwest Health Promotion and North Dakota Wellness Conference) where Happiness was the keynote topic. Happiness can no longer perceived as “fluffy” but rather a necessity for employee retention, recruitment, and high-quality customer service.
Five years ago, I was asked by my business coach, “if you were stranded on an island, what are the three things you would want to know about your business?” My reply, “1. Are my staff happy? 2. Are our customers well taken care of (i.e., happy)? and 3. Is the bottom line (financials) healthy so we can continue our mission of enriching employee wellbeing? The coach quickly followed with the question, “why is happiness first?” My response, “because if my staff are happy, the other two will fall into place.” I have a great team who are passionate about their work, so if they are happy, good things happen.
How do we drive happiness within our HealthSource Solutions team?
We persistently work at it. A thriving culture doesn’t just happen, it needs to be created, nurtured, and refreshed. And, it’s powered through the actions and communication of our Leadership team — we have to walk the talk, daily.
For the past 4 years, we have implemented a monthly survey to keep a pulse on Happiness. The survey is anonymous, inviting staff to be transparent about issues. We want to understand concerns in real-time, so we can head off issues before they become problematic.
We ask staff to rate their happiness on a score of 1 to 5 (1 is low and 5 is great). The score is meant to be all encompassing including both personal and professional happiness. Why? Because we want our staff to bring their full authentic selves to work each day; and compartmentalizing work and home is difficult and very stressful.
Our survey is simple and provides a great barometer for our joy and happiness. Below is a sample of how HealthSource Solutions has implemented our Happiness scale. The following is sent monthly through survey monkey.
The Happiness Survey
How people feel at work matters to us. Sharing your happiness score helps leadership keep a pulse on current issues and understand how we can best support you. Please take a minute each month to complete this survey. All results are completely anonymous, so transparent feedback is appreciated. Your feedback is important to guide us to solutions.
- On a scale of 1-5, rate your happiness score this month as it pertains to both your personal and professional life? (1 - Very Unhappy : 5 - Very Happy). Please add comments here:
- How would you rate your sense of belonging within HealthSource Solutions? (1 - I don’t feel like I belong and I’m often excluded : 5 - I feel that I’m included and belong here). Please add comments here
- If your happiness and/or belonging score is 3 or less, do you have recommendations for how leadership/your manager/ your teammates might better support you? Please add comments here:
Results are aggregated monthly and are a standing item at our Leadership meetings. The data is also translated into a 36-month bar graph so we can monitor trends. Last, and most important, the Happiness Score is a corporate goal with the annual metric to attain an average Happiness Score of 4.0.
By recognizing areas to celebrate and those that need support, we are encouraging our team to bring their fully authentic selves to work, each day. Crafting a happy workplace is a continuous process that requires dedication and a genuine commitment to the wellbeing of our employees. A happy workplace is not just a luxury; it's a strategic necessity in today's competitive business landscape.