What kind of training makes a happy workplace?

by Brett Henebery30 Jun 2017
A new study has shown that Australian employees rank highly on the workplace happiness index.
The results – released this week by global recruitment consultancy, Robert Half – were published in a new report, titled: ‘It’s Time We All Work Happy®’. The Secrets of the Happiest Companies and Employees.
The countries with the happiest workers were the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia, ranking 71.8, 71.2, 69.9 and 67.9 respectively.
The countries studied with the lowest levels of employee happiness are France (63.8), Belgium (65.2) and the United Kingdom (67.2).
L&D Professional spoke with David Jones, Senior Managing Director Robert Half Asia Pacific, to find out what role workplace training plays in these results.
Jones said employees who see their work as challenging and worthwhile tend to be much happier, so providing training to upskill staff in key skills will ensure a more engaged workforce.
“This can include IT-based skillset training, leadership and interpersonal communication,” Jones explained.
Jones pointed out that another important aspect of company training is providing employees with a shared vision that helps them stay focused on their goals during both the good times and the challenging times.
“To boost staff motivation, employers should always strive for fairness and transparency in their decision making. That means clear policies around pay, promotions and projects,” he said.
Jones added that companies need to make sure employees feel heard, and have a chance to speak out when they feel a sense of inequity.
“Also, a sense of camaraderie at work improves employee communication, cooperation and collaboration, and feeds innovation,” he said.
One company – TINYpulse – has created a performance management tool to measure employee engagement and happiness through asking one question each week to gain an insight into what learners really want.
The company’s founder, David Niu, told L&D Professional that in terms of improving staff training, the open communication practices can lead to enhanced team performance.

“Managers are asking for and listening to employees’ feedback on a regular basis, and then having open conversations as a result, it leads to implementing new best practices,” Niu said.

“After collecting the virtual suggestions from TINYpulse's staff, we build the TINYbuddy system in order for new hires to feel more connected with the team and better understand the culture.”

Niu added that this has since been implemented and now every new learner is paired with a company veteran.

“In addition, having a clearly laid-out 30, 60, 90-day plan, it lets our new learner understand what they’ll learn, when they’ll learn it, and how they’re going to accomplish each goal,” he said.