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For financial success, spend - on employees

09 September 2015 Liane McGowan, Happy Monday
Liane McGowan, founder of Happy Monday.

Liane McGowan, founder of Happy Monday.

When it comes to Human Resources, most companies budget for salaries, refreshments and, possibly, for skills development; but what about employee engagement? Often employees are an organisation’s greatest operational expense, yet rather than increasing salaries in an attempt to garner happiness (considering that remuneration has never been proven as an indicator of happiness), why not budget for true engagement that will lead to a productive workforce?

Despite the costs, it is essential to remember that staff are a company’s greatest asset, most persuasive brand ambassadors and (if loyal, engaged and happy) most reliable source of income. With that in mind, not putting budget in place to ensure that employees are content is often an otherwise well-run organisation’s biggest downfall. An employee’s salary is a monthly expense – whether they have performed at 60 percent, 80 percent or 100 percent, the same amount must be paid. Financially, it makes sense to ensure that the salary being paid out is being paid to an employee that is happy, focused and productive.

Research shows that, as humans, when we feel better, we perform better and exude a positivity that is recognised by customers and stakeholders. Generally, happier employees are more focused and productive, leading to better performance and improving the bottom line. The question remains, how can this be achieved?

Employee engagement has, traditionally, focussed on physical wellness campaigns. These campaigns tend to be costly, with low compliance compounding the frustration of a lack of return on investment. Modern employees are not interested in complying with outdated forms of employee wellness; the business world is not what it was a decade ago, yet the same engagement tactics are being utilised. To rejuvenate employee happiness, increasing productivity and profitability, a revitalisation of engagement approaches must be implemented.

The reality is that a healthy employee isn’t necessarily happy, but a happy employee is most often productive. One of the most prosperous companies in the word, Google, has mastered the art of creating fun, happy environments for its staff – its success speaks volumes. This can be achieved through employee wellness campaigns that focus on mental health and contentment. Workshops that encourage movement, laughter and cohesive team work, for example, promote a scientific brain reaction that facilitates cheerfulness, leading to efficiency.

If you’re already spending money on having staff at the office, why not engage them in a meaningful way, creating a positive environment and boosting profits?

Quick Polls

QUESTION

In terms of vicarious liability, damages should not be borne by companies in all conditions, but only in those circumstances which it is reasonable for them to do so. Do you agree?

ANSWER

Yes, damages should only be borne by companies in those circumstances which it is reasonable for them to do so.
No. If there is a sufficiently close link between the employee’s acts and the purposes and business of the employer, the employer should be held liable for delicts committed by their employees.
As long as the employee is acting within the course and scope of his or her duty… the employer will be held liable.
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