By: Sheri Blaho
I recently read this article about Danish workers and their happiness in their employment. With all our HR clients out there, I thought you all might appreciate why the Danish are famously successful in ensuring their employee satisfaction.
With the exposure we have into the inner workings at each client, we see both ends of the spectrum on employee satisfaction. I can't say that I have ever seen a client that offers an environment that embraces all five of these, but some do.
#1. Reasonable working hours-- At CS3 our management appreciates each hour we invest. But they are keenly aware of work/life balance. They always look for ways to make sure each employee works a reasonable amount of hours. Shawn Slavin frequently reminds us we are here to fund the rest of our lives and encourages us to put family first.
#2. Low Power Distance-- Our ownership team really brings a collaborative style of management. They freely accept critique or criticism in order to make the organization better.
#3. Generous Unemployment Benefits-- Well, since I am still employed I can't personally speak to this. But like all employers in the US, I know we do not offer packages with 2 years of pay. My husband recently changes positions and they gave one week for each year of employment. I think this may be a bit more generous that many firms. I found this point most intriguing, as we have all worked with people that are unhappy in their current positions but are "trapped". The result is not good for the firm or the other employees. That kind of employee brings down morale and production. Maybe extended unemployment would cost the US companies less money in the long run.
#4. Constant Training-- Well CS3 hits a home run on this point. With our roots based in a CPA firm, education has always be REQUIRED, not only encouraged. We actually get paid a bonus for the completion of extra education. Given that we are a Knowledge Based Firm (providing consulting as a part of our offerings) CS3 knows that a well educated staff will have more value to their clients.
#5. A Focus on Happiness-- The Danes actually have a word that means happiness at work. For the US, we mostly see work as the opposite of happiness or at best work is sacrifice we make to find happiness. We do hear of those employers that have programs in place that encourage wellness and fitness. Some offer on premises day care. Too many employers equate happiness to salary satisfaction.
I am interested in how you think your firm holds up to the Danish yardstick.