Is there happiness in the workplace?

Over the past few years, we have received an increasing number of requests for research such as employee satisfaction and engagement, HR-Brand, Employee Journey Map amongst others. Top managers of leading Ukrainian companies have begun to realize that high-quality service for external clients depends on the high-quality service offered by company employees, which, in my opinion, is impossible to provide without taking care of their mental and emotional health.

Happiness in the workplace is very much a trend visible today. Companies conduct research into the happiness index of their employees, how they control their emotions, how they keep track of which customers are which and how much and how employees smile at their customers. Employers are no longer aware of how to make their employees happy. 

However, the fact is that a person’s happiness cannot come from an external source. It comes from inside us, just like any other feeling or emotion. To wait for someone else to bring you happiness, including your employer, means you make them responsible for the absence of your own happiness. The reasons for employees to be unhappy with their employers may be a result of any of the following: inadequate staff management, unsociable/irregular working hours, unfriendly atmosphere, poor working conditions etc. 

Recognizing and reacting to the emotional state of your employees in time can prevent:

  • negative work output
  • decrease in productivity
  • emotional burnout
  • high turnover of staff and disruption of projects
  • frequent sick leave (it is a fact that there is a direct link between mental and physical health)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that every dollar invested in the fight against the depression and other mental illnesses will return $4 due to the improved well-being and efficiency of employees. 

Nevertheless, according to statistics, only 2% of staff make the management or their HR manager aware of their mental health and any issues they may be experiencing with it. 

So what is the solution? How can an employer recognise any mental health issues in their employees? 

Ask, ask and ask again!

Who, if not us in HR, knows that, economically, it is more advantageous to retain productive members of staff than to incur the costs associated with endless recruitment searches as well as the onboarding and training of newly hired employees. 

So, in February of this year, we conducted research into the mental and emotional health and well-being of employees working at companies across various industries and specializations. Some 158 respondents from all over Ukraine took part. 

Following the survey, we identified that the top 20 stress factors present in Ukrainian organizations included: 

– The need to switch between multiple tasks (multitasking);

– Overtime / large workload;

– The lack of feedback from management staff.

43% of respondents noted that no action was taken to reduce the level of stress within companies and 19% of respondents believed that training and corporate events are activities aimed at reducing the stress.

78% of respondents agreed that caring for the mental health and emotional well-being of employees by the employer is important. However, only 33% felt strongly about that and only 19% of them worked for companies which received an allocated budget for this area.


Who do you think is considered responsible for taking care of the mental and emotional state of the employees? 

“HRs of course!” said 54% answered.

In fact, only 15% of companies have developed a strategy and implemented mental health care tools for their staff.

We have identified the strongest of these tools that have a high distribution and quality of the exposure:

– Transparent confidential communication between management staff and employees; 

– Arrangement of comfortable workplaces;

– Regular supportive and developmental feedback;

– Elimination of public criticism, trolling, bullying.

These are the minimum requirements, not mentioning organizing food for the office, massage rooms, staff psychologist, restrooms for employees, which also contribute to mental and emotional well-being of employees and, as a result, to a more efficient and profitable business. 

Olga Krasina, HR BP 4Service Group, 7+ years of experience in HR, consulting psychologist at Tomalogy Center


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