Four essential ingredients for building happier workplaces

Four essential ingredients for building happier workplaces

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Last week we held a panel discussion on ‘Building Happier, More Human Workplaces In The 21st Century.’ Moderated by our Managing Director of Shortlist East Africa, Ariane Fisher, this fascinating conversation highlighted key ways you can increase employee satisfaction and reduce attrition rates. Many thanks to our panelists Ria Shroff Desai, AVP People Operations at Sula VineyardsDr. Marcus Ranney, General Manager, India at Thrive Global and Gaurav Singh, CEO of 3.2.1 Education Foundation for sharing their insights with our audience. Thanks to the Ministry of New for hosting us!

The panelists shared many of their experiences and approaches to creating happier, more human workplaces — we’ve distilled them here for you:

1. Managers that provide ‘psychological safety’

When stressing the importance of managers providing relentless support to their employees, Ria Shroff Desai explained, “I believe in the power of good managers. It is a very well documented fact that employees do not quit jobs, they leave managers.”

“One of the most important things managers can provide to employees is psychological safety. This was something that Great Place To Work has done significant research on — the importance of psychological safety in several Asian countries. They found that Indians tend to value ‘psychological safety’ ten times more than people working in other countries. When working in a team, aspects such as teamwork, innovation and collaboration were not regarded to be as important as support from their managers.”

“Employees take risks. They need managers to have their back and provide feedback in a non-threatening manner.”


2. Instilling a sense of purpose in employees

Thrive Global is a U.S.-based behaviour change technology and media company founded by Arianna Huffington that is dedicated to ending the stress and burnout epidemic worldwide. Dr. Marcus Ranney, the General Manager of Thrive Global in India, shared how crucial instilling a sense of purpose in employees is for preventing burnout. He said, “As we look at a workforce that is becoming increasingly stressed, increasingly burnt out at work, if we as managers are able to drive a connection between the job a person is doing, who they are doing it for and what that person gets out of that piece of work. We will hopefully be able to build much happier and more productive workplaces.”

Talking about the methodology to instill this culture in your company Marcus said, “you can take micro steps towards getting happiness and purpose at a workplace”.



While addressing the challenges you may face in your company when trying to achieve employee satisfaction — Dr. Ranney not only highlighted the role of stress in straining the workforce but also shared his opinion on instilling a sense of purpose in employees.

“80% of India’s workforce says that they are stressed at work. 60% of whom wanted to leave the workforce because of the stress. 92% of millennials said they do not have the resilience to cope with the stress around them. This immense pressure is causing strain on the workforce.

I feel the solution lies in creating a sense of purpose for employees. Several companies, including Hindustan Unilever and Thrive Global are currently working on creating that sense of purpose and belonging to motivate millennials and other members of the workforce.”