And you, do you think there is happiness at work?

If we summarize this session, which brought together students and employee-managers from small and large groups in the Village of Crédit Agricole Provence Côte d’Azur, we will say that it is urgent to think about the service of action. hold happiness at work. Led by Adélie Foras, project manager with a double master’s degree in contemporary philosophy and in management and human resources management (also member of Faire Philo, the network of professionals in practical philosophy), these exchanges clarified the vision that we can get to this very next notion “happiness at work”.

Managerial innovation or fad?

Is it really a company’s duty to offer “happiness” to its employees? Isn’t this concept hiding behind finding meaning in the accomplishment of a task? And then, we talk about whose happiness? yourself? From a collective? Adélie Foras warns that answers will not come or will not be decided. We are really in a masterclass of practical philosophy and there are no clear answers to complex questions.

an oxymoron

First of all, you have to realize that the concept has changed a lot. A few years ago, being well in your company meant that you paid attention to your health, the physical and psychological risks due to work. We talked about avoiding PSR (psychosocial risks) and QVT (quality of life at work), now we talk about well-being, even happiness. “We have gone from a collective concept to an individualist concept, from a concrete concept to an abstract concept”, translated the philosopher. Then, upon closer inspection, the terms “happiness” and “work” don’t seem to make a couple. It sounds like an oxymoron. And yet… Etymologically, work (root “trans”) is a path to be crossed, an obstacle to be overcome. “To give a positive meaning, deciphers Adelie Foras, I would say that it is an effort that must be made, with the goal of producing something, that requires creativity and innovation, and it is in the service of a collective.” Not so negative then and can lead to a certain satisfaction.

beware of happiness

Therefore, happiness and work will not be so bad. However, Adélie Foras warns: “You have to be careful about happiness. To seek happiness is to force intimacy.” Because everyone has their own definition of what gives them satisfaction and well-being in their workplace.

ruler of happiness

It gets complicated. And when it’s complicated, we’re tempted to “pass the hot potato”. So we created happiness specialists at work. They are called CHO (Chief Happyness Officer), happiness managers. A function that comes right from the United States, a country where the right to happiness is enshrined in the Constitution. In France, there are only about 500 happiness managers in our companies. For Adelie Foras, “All steps are good as long as we care about employee welfare. But there is no single recipe for duplicating.”

What levers?

So what levers to activate? First, foster the joy of work: create a framework that allows employees to grow and improve their skills. Then, getting to know the work and the worker: hearing that what we do and the way we participate is a plus for the company. Finally, you have to let go of the job. The project manager explained: “When flexibility and agility are imposed, it is very difficult to lock the employee in chains. This is a source of internal conflict, counterproductive. The employee must be given the power to act, invest, be a stakeholder. Managers, also remember that the reflection on corporate well-being must be structured and not sprinkled with sporadic action. Because the stakes are high.” What issue? Build team loyalty, make this happiness contagious, strengthen its brand and de facto image, improve productivity and turnover. How do you know what might influence a particular employee? Good local governance allows us to get closer to the truth. Remember that sometimes it doesn’t take much to be happy.

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