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So, are you happy at work?

23 July 2019
VO bonheur

The “Happy” trend is gaining ground in companies, driven by the conviction that happy employees are more productive and creative. VO is surveying its staff to identify what makes them feel fulfilled, and to improve this. After all, happiness is something you have to work on!

7.3 out of 10 - this is the satisfaction rating obtained from a recent survey conducted among VO Event and VO Citizen employees on their happiness at work. The result is identical to that expressed by Belgians in a 2017 Tempo-Team survey. And it’s higher than a more pessimistic 6.5 out of 10 from a more recent survey conducted by the Robert Half recruitment agency.

But our agency is all set to delve deeper, convinced that the paradigm of work founded on controlling managers and submissive employees is outdated. Yes, happiness is possible in the workplace, It’s all to do with hitting the right buttons. But what exactly is happiness at work, and what triggers it?

Happy culture

The focus on employee well-being has been a growing concern in recent years. Some companies have even created the position of Chief Happiness Officer (CHO).

The first CHO in Belgium was Laurence Vanhée, who made it her core business. Having become a guru consultant for the “Happy” trend, she captured the attention of bosses by insisting that “employee happiness is a vector of productivity at work”. This can only be achieved if the individual is at the centre of concerns within the strategy and organisation. The latter must be the place and source from which the employee can draw the ingredients of his or her happiness and the energy for his or her performance in the service of the company.


The following proven techniques are used to achieve this:


  • give more freedom and autonomy (in terms of time, place, roles and tools) to the employee;
  • encourage internal social interactions through activities: group outings, leisure activities (zumba, yoga, wellness workshops, etc.);
  • listen to and fulfil the wishes expressed (silent areas, working from home, etc.);
  • adopt a management style that takes on board the concerns and is able to recognise/value the contribution of staff.


These focal areas are complemented by a corporate culture that combines transparency, mission concept, empathy, mutual trust, cohesion, respect, fulfilment, audacity, authenticity, etc.

Studies show that employees are drivers of their own happiness; when more involved and more in control, they are more productive and creative. An added beneficial effect of this is that this sense of well-being reduces absenteeism, builds staff loyalty, prevents stress-related illnesses and promotes resilience. In short, it’s a cure for burn-out and bore-out.


Happiness barometer at VO


One survey highlights the media/communication/press/events sector as being particularly stressful.

This is why our agency is giving itself one year to clearly identify the feelings and expectations of our team in terms of its concept of happiness at work. Then we will deploy the appropriate means to improve this and raise the satisfaction rating beyond the 7.3 out of 10 already expressed.

All VO employees are invited to participate in a detailed barometer to give their opinions anonymously on four main areas:

  1. social interactions within VO
  2. the current management style and ways to improve it
  3. the organisation and meaning of work for everyone
  4. VO's corporate culture, its values, its future, the desire to work here...

Because we need to work together to live happily ever after.

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