A striking new job title at Facilicom Group: the service provider has added 50 ‘Happy Officers’ to its workforce. These officers are not new employees but Facilicom employees who take a training to be ‘experts in happiness at work’. With the new position Facilicom wants to add to the significance of happiness on the work floor, literally and figuratively, and not only internally but also with its clients.
‘A gimmick? It’s anything but that,’ says vice CEO Martine Geurts of Facilicom Group. ‘The appointment of Happy Officers is consistent with the mission we formulated last year: Working together on an inspiring environment for everyone. We have translated this mission into the focus on happiness at work. People who are happier at work perform better, are retained longer, and report sick less often. It’s something we firmly believe in. It’s also part of our DNA, as a service provider. With our companies we want to contribute to happiness at work at our clients’ locations: happy people make happy people.’
Because some improvement would be in order, as studies suggest. One in six employees worldwide feels unhappy at work. In the Netherlands – based on data from 2017 – 27% of the working population have one or more bad days per week while being at work.
‘Supporting employees actively’
The service provider has 32,000 employees in a large number of divisions. The happiness at work strategy is also intended to ensure that job satisfaction is increased among the Group’s own employees. Martine Geurts: ‘This inspiring work environment with our clients starts at an internal level, with the employees of the divisions. Originally, Facilicom Group is a people-oriented company. Our motto is ‘Happy people make happy people’. We want the motto to apply to our customers as well as to our own employees. Therefore, we want to focus even more on internal happiness at work by appointing 50 colleagues Happy Officers.’
The employees work at the various Facilicom companies and have ‘applied’ for the internal vacancy of their own accord. They act as the internal ambassadors of happiness at work. Prior to their appointment, they take a training, depending on their interest. Happy Officers will be giving workshops to division managers and draw up a plan of approach to optimise happiness at work in their own team or propagate it actively. What are the objectives? ‘I really don’t expect us to be always happy in 2019 and go “Yippee!”,’ Martine Geurts says. ‘But if 90% of the colleagues will have noticed by the end of the year that attention is paid to happiness at work, it would be a great result.’