International Happiness Day: How different agencies keep their employees happy

To celebrate International Happiness Day, PRWeek Middle East has asked PR and communications agency leaders across the region to give their perspective on what it takes to keep a happy and productive workforce.

Grayling Middle East and Africa CEO Loretta Ahmed.
Grayling Middle East and Africa CEO Loretta Ahmed.

Often it's the simplest and easiest things that can bring a feel-good factor to the office.

Romain Lutter, director of people and culture at H+K Strategies, said "culture is at the heart of everything we do" and the agency has a number of incentives to keep its employees happy.

"Working in a fast-paced and constantly evolving industry requires us to be particularly vigilant at ensuring our people are engaged, passionate and eager to learn," said Lutter. "For that reason, we have implemented some HR initiatives to maintain a fun and healthy working environment, where employees can freely express themselves, such as monthly yoga classes, quarterly massages, monthly "smoothies day" and Thursday breakfasts."

Lutter said H+K also has team-building activities to mark special cultural events throughout the year, including Iftar, Christmas, Diwali, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Easter, "Bake Off day", Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

For Loretta Ahmed, Grayling Middle East and Africa CEO, the happiness of employees can be summed up in a single word – ‘appreciation’’.

"Last year we introduced an appreciation box for anyone to pop a note in each week to a colleague they would like to thank," Ahmed said.

"Each Thursday the box is emptied and little notes make their way across the office onto desks and an invisible little wave of feel-good happiness rolls through the office. It’s become a Grayling tradition we all absolutely love."

Jonty Summers, managing director of Hanover Middle East, said the agency offers employees the opportunity to do interesting work and installs trust in them to rise to the challenge.

"Also - hire people they (employees) like to work with; tell them when they’ve done a good job," Summers added.

"I like to make our teams part of the bigger picture – lots of disclosure about what is going on as a company so they know how they fit in. Wotrk-life balance is also very important. No balance is no fun at all."

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