Chief Happiness Officer- A Necessity or A Luxury?

Investing in a happy workplace culture is critical to making your team members feel supported and appreciated. Why? Because happy workers are productive workers, and your customers can sense this. Several companies, namely Google, have sensed this also, and have responded to this need by creating a Chief Happiness Officer role-  a role designed for an individual to spread motivation and happiness among employees. But is this role necessary? Is it full of fluff, or is it a strategy that more retailers should seriously consider? We thought we’d break down some of our thoughts so we can hopefully get closer to having an answer.

Let’s start with the pros. First, introducing this role indicates that a business is dedicated to taking workplace happiness seriously by giving it a specific place in the business model. Having this role shows that the business leaders acknowledge the significant impact happiness has on productivity, and are willing to take actions to achieve this impact. Second, it could potentially be an effective investment in large businesses who have a high number of employees to manage.

On the other hand, while a Chief Happiness Officer could be a worthy investment for larger businesses, this doesn’t mean it can work for all. This leads us to the cons, one of which being that there is a risk of the happiness officer becoming a symbolic figure who is there but does not actually do anything. Whilst it’s great to see a company committing to workplace well-being, it also should be remembered that happiness is very unique and depends on a variety of individual factors. What makes one employee happy may not be effective for another employee, and so this officer would need to actively survey employees to ensure that assumptions are not made.

The question then arises over who should be held accountable for making employees happy. Should it not be the leaders of the business who are responsible? Is creating this role perhaps shifting most of their responsibility onto this individual? And how can the impact of the Chief Happiness Officer be effectively measured? Are employee productivity levels the only measure here?

It’s safe to say that happiness in the workplace is a priority, but how retailers respond to that priority depends on the retailer. The Chief Happiness Officer role can be a worthwhile investment; however, workplace wellbeing also needs to be fostered by the leaders themselves through their own treatment of employees. Companies don’t need a Chief Happiness Officer to know that it is possible to listen and work with your employees to make the environment they work in a positive one.

We’ll be interested to see what other strategies companies introduce to increase workplace productivity in future.  

Until next time,

Disrupt Retail