Creating culture of happiness, Lessons to pick from Susheel Agarwal’s ‘HR To CEO workshop’

31 July, New Delhi: Susheel Agarwal, Founder of Ethika Insurance Brokers, a bootstrapped company, conducted his patent workshop “from HR To CEO”- the Delhi Edition at Hotel Holiday Inn, Delhi On Saturday. Many corporate leaders from Delhi and NCR attended the event.

The workshop emphasized on how ensuring employee happiness at work is the new paradigm toward ensuring employee productivity. Susheel also laid out the broad contours of his SHAPE framework during the workshop. This framework is designed to enable organizations to lay the foundation of happiness at the workplace. Susheel believes that ensuring  employees’ happiness at workplaces today is considerably more important than anything else. The event was graced by more than a couple of dozen corporate leaders and decision-makers.

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The revolutionary initiative of HR to CEO is structured under the Office Anand Foundation by Susheel. As the name suggests, Office Anand’s objective is to promote happier and healthier work culture in Indian corporate houses.

During an interaction with the media,Susheel emphasized that there has been a sea change in what employees want today. Employees now want satisfaction from work. Also, mere lip service to work-life balance is no longer enough. Employees want to see leaders walk the talk. It is therefore about time that the Indian corporates begin to consider adding “Happiness” to the work environment. He added that not only do happy employees spread positivity through the workplace but they are also more productive. A positive work environment can dramatically improve the output and resolve half of the problems at work.

This event was a follow up to the HR to CEO workshop conducted in Hyderabad in May this year. It was largely attended by founders and HR leaders from the Delhi and NCR region. Strategies laid out in the workshop thrilled the delegates added Kriti Raj, Chief Communication Officer, Ethika Insurance Broking Pvt. Ltd.

The changing human resource landscape demands a relook at the entire human motivation spectrum, says Susheel. COVID-19 brought about a fundamental shift in the way people saw their relationship with work. When future generations of human resource folks look back in time, they will see COVID-19 as a watershed moment on the HR landscape. COVID marked our tryst with mortality. And nothing, absolutely nothing, can prepare you for an experience like that. Staring at death changes you. All your priorities suddenly align. You are bestowed with a sense of clarity toward life and work. Why you work becomes an existential question. And organizations that are able to answer this question effectively would turn out to be the winners in this employer branding race, he adds.

During the workshop, Susheel dwelled into some of the fundamental issues with the relationship between an employee and work. Susheel has been a stern advocate of Employee Happiness at workplaces over the last five years. He firmly believes that happier workplaces are productive workplaces. And he has data to substantiate the fact. Susheel, who is a Certified Happiness Coach from the Berkley Well Being Institute of California, has been conducting the workshop for Ethika’s clients for a couple of years now. And his clients have seen a dramatic shift in culture; employees seem happier, and productivity has increased multifold.

Susheel is a big promoter of finding your purpose. But, he feels it can change the whole idea of work. But there could be times when employees might need help with finding their purpose. And solving this puzzle for the employee can be the game changer. Adapting what Nietzsche said to a workplace setting, Susheel says – someone who has a why can and will almost always figure out the how.

The SHAPE framework that Susheel has designed, can be a game changer for Organizations aiming at improving employee productivity while keeping the culture intact. This framework is spread over five stages: – meaSure, Handhold, engAge, Protect, inspirE. Organizations start with measuring where they are, on the employee productivity front, at stage I and by stage V they have employees engaged to work, not because they need to, but because they want to.

That said, Susheel believes that productivity is the by-product of an engaged workplace. Implore your employees to search for happiness and see your employee engagement metric go through the roof. Susheel’s obsession with finding happiness at workplaces is rooted in his own journey of entrepreneurship. He realized that productivity at Ethika was 5x of what it was at its competitors. And the chief ingredient of this productivity was the fact that employees at Ethika were a bunch of happy folks. Happiness is fundamental to the culture at Ethika, says Susheel. The insight came to Susheel during an interaction with one of his esteemed clients Tupperware. And the rest, as they say, is history.