Client area

Put us to the test with your next position

polkadot press - October 2011

Posted 17.11.11

5 Drivers Of Happiness At Work - 'The Science of Happiness'

The iOpener Institute for People and Performance conducted empirical research over a period 5 years, involving over 9000 people from around the world. This research reveals some interesting findings regarding happiness at work.

Workers have had to deal with a very different working world since the financial crisis and ensuing recession. The research conducted by the iOpener Institute shows that the people surveyed have less confidence, motivation, loyalty, resilience, commitment and engagement than in 2006.

This research also hi-lighted that employees who are happiest at work:
. Stay twice as long in their jobs
. Spend double their time at work focused on what they are paid to do
. Take ten times less sick leave
. Believe they are achieving their potential twice as much

These findings indicate that the 'science of happiness' at work has benefits for the individual too. If you are really happy at work you will solve problems faster, be more creative, adapt faster to change, receive better feedback, get promoted quicker and earn more over the long term.

The iOpener research shows that there are five important drivers that underpin the science of happiness at work.

1. Contributions
Having clear goals, moving positively towards them, talking about issues that might prevent you meeting your objectives and feeling heard when you do so. The research suggest individuals do this best when they feel appreciated and valued by their boss and its not just about delivering but doing that within collaborative working relationships.

2. Conviction
Having short-term motivation in both good times and bad. It is important to keep going even when times get tough, so that you maintain your energy, motivation and resources which pull you through.
The research shows that actively doing this and being aware of how variable our motivation can be can make a real difference.

3. Culture
Performance and happiness at work are really high when employees feel they fit in within their organisational culture. The research has shown that employees like their organisational cultures a lot less than they did pre-recession. So any business that wants to retain top talent will need to start addressing the issue today.

4. Commitment
Commitment matters because it aligns itself with why you do the work you do. One of the underlying elements of commitment is perceiving you are doing something worthwhile.
The research shows a decline in commitment post recession. Employers need to motivate employees by showing them how they make a difference and give them a reason to show that commitment.

5. Confidence
Too little confidence means nothing happens and too much leads to arrogance and sometimes poor decisions.
The research shows that without greater self belief/confidence there will be few people taking risks or trying anything new - you can't have confident organisations without confident individuals within them.

In summary understanding what makes you happy at work and how it affects your performance offers a whole new way of managing yourself and career. For employers it offers a chance to understand their employees and create a greater/more productive working environment.


A Skills Gap?

A survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has highlighted an interesting trend in the recruitment activity of organisations. It has shown that organisations are experiencing an increase in recruitment difficulties.

The Resourcing and Talent Planning 2011 survey has shown that three qurters of organisations surveyed are now reporting recruitment difficulties compared to 67% in 2010, with the same number noticing an increase in unsuitable candidates. As well as this the survey showed that over half believed the pool of talent to hire has fallen sharply.

Some of the reasons for these difficulties have been pinpointed:

Skills Gap
The top reason for the recruitment difficulties was claimed to be due to a lack of necessary specialist or technical skills (72% compared to 67% in 2010). Skills shortages have been widely reported across industries in the UK over the last few years and clearly this is not something that is going away.

The CIPD suggest in order to tackle the long-term skills shortage there is a real need for employers to engage with schools so that young people are aware of the range of interesting roles available and are able to make more informed study choices.

Employees Staying Put
Another clear contributing factor to the talent shortage is that those who are in work are reluctant to move in to a volatile market. Employees want job security.
The median turnover has remained low throughout the recession (2011:12.5%, 2010: 13.5%, 2009:13.5%).

The CIPD also state that developing a strong employer brand is critical to attracting professional with the right skills, experience and attitude.

The research also hi-lights the importance of recognising candidates with potential rather than solid experience. Employers have become more risk averse menaing they are often ruling out promising candidates.

polkadotfrog as recruitment specialists are able to offer the support organisations need to ensure they are attracting the very best candidates. Whilst helping businesses identify candidates who can add value with their transferable skills.

Pain Free Progress For New Employees

Starting a new job can often be a tough period for both employer and employee, as both settle in to their new relationship and the realities of the position come in to force.

Research from has shown that 20% of people think that the first day in a new job can be one of the most daunting events we experience in our lives. Further research has shown that the higher the applicants expectations of a new role, the greater the reality shock and the lower their job satisfaction and commitment. It is therefore crucial employers manage this phase of recruitment well.

Follow the simple steps below to ensure new recruits smoothly settle in to their new role:

1. Core Values and Beliefs
Candidates should have already done a good deal of research prior to receiving a job offer but it is important they continue to show an interest in the businesses performance, news, new products etc.
Knowing the organisation structure, remembering names and job titles is also important when trying to establish working relationships. Knowledge and continued interest will ensure success for the employee in their new position.
Employers will need to make sure access to such information is made available to new recruits and take an active role in the introduction of recruits to the Company, its core values and beliefs. Knowing that they can make a difference to the business will create positive feeling and encourage performance.

2. Conversation/Networking
It is important for employers and employees to maintain communication throughout the induction process. New recruits need to take an active role in getting to know their colleagues in order to understand how the team works and to establish a place within that team. Often visiting other departments and branches can help relationships with colleagues develop quicker and give the new recruit a clearer idea of their purpose within the business. Employers need to ensure that this relationship building is unproblematic and positive by keeping the communication links between them and the new recruit open at all times.

3. Cultural Codes/Processes
Making cultural codes or processes clear from the outset will minimise confusion and mistakes. Training manuals are usually an ideal place to include such information as it can be referred back to as many times as needed by the new recruit.
This conformity will allow the new recruit to pick up new systems more quickly.

In conclusion if a strong working relationship is developed between the employer and new recruit from the outset any minor problems should be dealt with quickly to prevent further derailment or job dissatisfaction.

Recruiters also play a large part in this process, keeping in contact with their placed candidates can only strengthen the value of the employee they have supplied to the business and therefore maintain the reputation they hold for supplying high calibre candidates. polkadotfrog very much see the value in maintaining relationships with candidates beyond day one of a placement.