|Ms.Arletta Bentzen, Chief Happiness Officer, speaking to the seminar audience.|
Who thinks of trade unions, does not immediately think of happiness at work. Instead, unions are often in the news with discontent like protests, demonstrations and strikes for higher wages or pensions. Trade unions are quite materialistic oriented on salary and wage increase and only after this of course on the secondary employment conditions like work environment, safety and health as a basis for employee satisfaction. About happiness at work trade unions speak seldom or never.
Yet there was last week a European seminar in Copenhagen, Denmark with the theme "Happiness at work". The seminar was sponsored by the European Commission through EZA and organized and sponsored by the Danish Confederationof Trade Krifa and the international trade union federation WOW. The program featured a variety of speakers from different European countries that shed light on the topic from different angles.
|Mr.Prof. Ir. Jan Van Peteghem (left) and Rolf Weber, treasurer of WOW|
|Mr. Willem Jelle Berg, member of CNV Board.|
|Mr. Soren Fibiger Olesen, President Krifa speaking about the mission statement of Krifa.|
In the study, six factors are identified that affect happiness at work: the purpose of your work, leadership, influence, the work-life balance and colleagues. I think all of us recognize those factors and finds them appropriate also to him or herself. The trick is to measure to what extent these factors weight on the total package. A few results are interesting to mention here.
|Some exercise made by the participants of the seminar to promote 'happiness at work'.|
“The belief that your work has purpose has a strong positive correlation with job satisfaction. In fact, the study shows it is the factor that affects well-being at work at most.”
Based on the results of the research, leadership appeared to be the number 2 important factor and not as was said earlier, namely colleagues.
“Leadership significantly affects job satisfaction – and far more tha employees realize.”
Workers want a pat on the back from their boss and does he listen to you? The following factors weighing on the balance happiness at work in order of importance: a balance between work and life, influence and results of your work (achievements). Surprising was that the behavior of colleagues eventually appeared as the last one of importance for the total score on satisfaction.
|Participants from Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia listening attentive to one of the speakers at the seminar.|
The answer to this is that health and safety issues also were not always important for the trade union movement but forced by circumstances they were put on the trade union agenda. Now safety and health at the workplace are regulated by legislation and each employer must have an eye for the health and safety of its employees. Additionally, satisfied employees are more productive and more creative allowing the company to produce more than other companies and function better. In short, also from a cost-benefit point of view, for the employer happiness at work is a good thing. But even without these positive side an employer must consider that employees are much more than just money.
|Mr. Ing.Mag. Heimo Pilko, Work psychologist and Safety Engineer.|
|The Spanish delegation at the seminar.|