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: 2023 Happy Workplaces Conference
Our Happy Workplaces Conference is our biggest event of the year — and we're excited to announce that it will be back for 2023. Save the date for 15th June 2023!
Due to the success of previous years, we will be holding this event online via Zoom. As always, this event will include lots of discussion and interaction, with the opportunity to meet others who are on their journey to create happy workplaces.
Our speakers will be announced early next year. Previous speakers have included leadership gurus Tom Peters, David Marquet, Liz Wiseman and Bruce Daisley — as well as Andrew Barnes, author of The 4 Day Week, Helen Sanderson MBE, Professor Donna Hall CBE, and Pim de Morre of Corporate Rebels. We've had speakers from organisations such as John Lewis, WL Gore, Buurtzorg, Woohoo inc, Propellernet, Mayden, Next Jump, Foundation SP, Epic CiC, the National Audit Office, and more.
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