As I was heading down to the coast over the Easter weekend, I heard an interesting interview on 774 broadcast radio. Bill Shorten was discussing the concept of how a happy worker affected productivity. Although he was not able to provide conclusive evidence about what the impact had been in the last 10years, he did suggest that workers had been less productive, were feeling less happy, valued or secure in their roles. This is not surprising giving the number of jobs that are being cut both in private and government sectors throughout the country.
How do employers create a happy workforce? What can be done to change the current feelings of workers who are in jobs or those wanting to get into jobs?
One might ask organizations to perhaps invest more time into their recruitment processes and develop a culture that can be sustained that includes the concept of care, integrity and realistic work demands and support. Is this perhaps a pipe dream you might ask? Perhaps it is, particularly where today the bottom line is mainly what counts, and that for every position advertised there are hundreds applying!
Nevertheless, employers can start take some positive action right at the beginning stages when they are recruiting prospect employees. Good employers will understand that if they are going to get the best people to apply for their jobs, then they need to be able to provide a fair way of applying, for these positions.
Although the application process is a way of weeding out would- be- contenders, does additional documentation such as providing a separate selection criteria, go too far, especially if a candidate provides a clear and well-documented C.V?
Surely, any good recruiter can look at a CV and see whether there is enough well documented experience to met the specification of a particular role, given that often job descriptions don’t always equally well match the role that a person performs?
When it come to terms and conditions of employment, what makes a desirable workplace?
Apart from a reasonable salary to live on and appropriate days offered to perform the role, don’t future employees want to know if the organization is flexible with time and has the ability to offer family friendly options?
More often than not these days, more and more employers offer contracts, which although lucrative for some, don’t inspire security and a feeling of loyalty. Often no, sooner than a person starts in a role, they need begin to look for the next position or keep their options open! In some instances the 3-month probation period, means neither party is locked in making a commitment and has a way out. Most people in any position need a good 6mths into a job to really settle into their role. Confidence needs to be built up and working relationships need to be formed.Unfortunately, this just doesn’t always happen instantly, as most people would like ideally !
With the flood of contract roles currently being put out there, it very difficult to get any really investment into training or mentorship, which would help develop a happier work place. In my own case, I have been trying to change career directions and have found myself trying all kinds of roles to get experience. Not only was it the wrong time to do this, but also with age and work cultures/economics changing, it has been a challenge. The years of experience had in other areas of my work life, in some instances have been counterproductive, when trying to break into a new field. Employers these days can get the skills they require on demand, given the number of highly qualified people applying for work.
I was lucky last year to get an opportunity to pursue something new, but it just wasn’t sustainable because it was on a contract basis a 3 days per week. I have also taken on sessional roles to get experience but obviously this is not enough.
So who is the happy worker? How does your organization provide the support and environment that makes you want to be there? When you were recruited how did this occur and did their recruitment process provide increase your confidence in wanting to work for this organization?
PS new postings on this blog are intended to occur weekly so stay tuned!