Changing The “H” In HR To Happiness – A Valentine’s Love Story

With Valentine’s Day candy just beginning to go on sale as the last of the heart shaped chocolate boxes get opened, many are beginning to think about their work relationships. When we think of our HR departments and divisions, we usually think of the business of Human Resources. The sourcing and selection of new employees, onboarding procedures, employee evaluations, compensation and benefits, bonuses, discipline, and even termination. But what if we redefine the “H” to instead focus on Happiness? What could and would that do to your operation?


According to Zenefits Insurance Services, there are some easy and relatively simple steps to increase employee happiness (that won’t cost your business an arm and a leg to implement). A few choice options include putting more focus on your new hires through increased attention to onboarding opportunities and less emphasis on bringing people up to management level. While some employees may be management material, not all are. Instead, find a comparable way to compensate those individuals who may lack the people skills necessary for successful managers and let them keep their energies where they do best. Aligned with this tip is the notion that people will do better when you let them work in the areas of their interest and strength, rather than trying to fit square pegs into round holes. While this may not come entirely as a shock, how many times have you faced the quandary of trying to make your team respond to a need instead of building a team to respond?


Another important issue, according to the folks at to remember is the again primarily fit-based solution that while people may pursue their passion into an employment relationship, passion doesn’t pay the bills. When people can do what they love, love what they do, get paid fairly, and feel that their contributions are valued and meaningful, they are happier. When work is interesting, people learn, and they have healthy relationships with their peers and supervisors, not surprisingly, they are happier.


The benefit of a happy workforce? Improved productivity, increased retention, and overall a better work environment. Managers would be well served to remember the old adage that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. Sometimes, a simple thank you or friendly acknowledgement can help keep an employee who may be stressed or feeling low from even investigating the possibility of jumping ship. With unemployment at a tricky stage, keeping the good employees you already have is of premium importance. So it may be time to make your HR department the realm of Happy Thoughts. And it never hurts to keep some old Valentine’s Day candy around the office just in case someone needs a bit of a chocolate boost