What I Do Well + What is Useful + What I Love = Happiness at Work
When Laurence Vanhee joined Belgium's Ministry of Social Security, the department was struggling to recruit Belgian citizens to the civil service and simultaneously losing 40% of staff to retirement. Social Security is essential, especially in a country comprising two very distinct groups. So Laurence and her colleagues set out to change the laws in order to gain more flexibility, attract newbies and retain people.
In this two minute clip from the 2018 Happy Workplaces Conference, Laurence outlines how the Ministry circumvented traditional HR practices to focus on what staff did well, what was useful to the organisation and what they love to do.
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There are many restrictive laws and regulations in Belgium, conceived by people with no comparable experience to those affected by the laws. This is echoed in the HR policies of government ministries. Laurence named her solutions to these bureaucratic barriers “the three potatoes.”
Number one is to “find the answer to what I am doing well,” she says. Not via introspection – that’s not the most reliable road to self-evaluation – but by seeking feedback from colleagues, bosses and anyone else you’re working with.
The second potato is the question, “In my job, what is useful to the organisation?” People might excel at things that have no tangible impact on the organisation’s effective functioning, but what are they doing that people genuinely care about?
And the third potato is all about what you love to do. “If you want to make young people happy, you put them there, they do what they love to do and which is useful to the organisation, and they will calculate the happiness at work,” says Laurence. “This is so easy.”
- 11 takeaways from the 2018 Happy Workplaces conference: read Henry’s blog about all the big ideas discussed at the 2018 Happy Workplaces conference
- Take The Happy Challenge – Henry’s challenges managers to make no decisions for three months
- 8 Principles From Some of the Best Workplaces on the Planet – Pim de Morree looks at eight trends from some of the world’s most engaged workplaces
- The Happy Manifesto by Henry Stewart – click here to get your free eBook, full of great ideas for creating a happy workplace
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Next Conference: Happy Teams and the Buurtzorg Way
We are very excited to be partnering with Buurtzorg for this online event! If you haven't heard of them, Buurtzorg is a healthcare organisation in the Netherlands with over 15,000 staff that receives top marks from care inspectors and has a current patient satisfaction rating of 9.3. It's also been rated five times as one of the top places to work in the Netherlands. Why? Their staff is made up of hundreds of self-managing teams supported by regional coaches and a back office of just 50 people — with overheads accounting for just 8% of its total costs!
At this workshop from 10am to 4pm on 27th May 2021, you will hear from nurses and a coach working the Buurtzorg way in both Britain and the Netherlands. You will also be introduced to some of the techniques Happy uses for more effective staff involvement in decision-making.
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