February 14, 2020

Do you love your work?

The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. This Valentine’s Day, it is important to check in on your relationship with your workplace. Any long-term relationship requires regular check-ins, purposeful bonding activities and small celebrations.

The way in which people think about work has changed. The success of organisations (even their very existence), is now seen as depending on the active involvement and satisfaction of employees – putting workers’ job satisfaction at centre stage. Many South African industries (the advertising industry especially), is known for its employee retention issues. The overall employee satisfaction levels in South Africa are sitting at an average of 6 out of 10, so there is clearly much room for improvement.

When employee satisfaction is not invested in, the risk of poor retention is high. Low company morale can lead to high turnover rates, above average absenteeism, decreased productivity as well a talent drain, with high-value team members leaving for greener pastures. The University of Warwick found that happy workers are up to 12% more productive than unhappy professionals. The iOpener Institute found that happy employees were 65% more energetic than unhappy employees.

The Black Snow Group wanted to go beyond guesswork and investigate steps that can be implemented to further improve employee office morale. According to research, a happy employee is someone who enjoys doing the tasks assigned to them; has a positive feeling to the people they work with; is happy with the financial benefits they get from the job; has room for improving on existing skills and feels respected and acknowledged at work. In the hustle-and-bustle of daily life, how do you ensure that you are investing time into the happiness of your employees?

Although bigger events spaced throughout the year are crucial (for example, large-scale end-of-year-events), smaller, more regular updates are just as important. The Black Snow Group, for instance, has implemented a “Culture Club” meeting every Friday afternoon. This is set in stone and prioritised as an investment into our team. We have weekly “shout outs” where employees nominate each other for work done in the week. From staying late and making the best coffee to securing a large account. We also have a session of “Office Over Share” where we each answer a question of the week. For example: “what was the most embarrassing mistake you made in your first job?” Every quarter we have a more purposeful team bonding activity (for example, Office Olympics where we engage in tasks such as chair soccer, paper airplane races, elastic band target shooting etc.).

Tom Miles remarked that “out of every goal people want to attain, happiness is usually the greatest.” Help your employees fall in love with your workplace this Valentine’s Day. Ours sure do!

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