We are always on the lookout for ways to improve employee happiness, engagement and productivity –this article from Fast Company fits the bill. One thing to note is a key feature behind our screening methodology is also a key element in what supports employee happiness: trust. It turns out that finding ways to build trust is probably far more effective than more direct approaches to “happiness”.
When Google promoted a software engineer named Chade-Meng Tan to the role of “Jolly Good Fellow,” his career–and the entire culture of Silicon Valley–took a sharp turn.
Meng, a cheerful employee valued for his motivational qualities, went from developing mobile search tools to spreading happiness across the organization. Happiness became his job.
Google wasn’t the first to hire someone with the sole remit of enforcing employee contentment. In 1999, when Google was still a startup, French fashion brand Kiabi hired Christine Jutard as its chief happiness officer. She was one of the first to perform the role.
The role remains popular today. There are more than 1,000 chief happiness officers listed on jobs website LinkedIn. But a closer look at what really makes employees happy shows that lots of companies are going about it the wrong way. But once Google did it, employee happiness became a key metric, and other organizations quickly adopted their approach. Three years after Meng’s appointment, fast food giant McDonald’s even promoted Ronald McDonald from brand mascot to CHO.