The New Heroes of the Workplace: CHOs

Mieke Aarsman 29 Nov 2017

The latest addition to the CxO level within large businesses is the CHO.

In case  you may be wondering: the CHO the company's Chief Happiness Officer. The CHO's of this world are responsible for the general happiness at work of the employees of their company. This initially fluffy-sounding job description is found within more and more organizations in the last years, such as Hilton, IBM, Ikea and Shell.
The CHO is usually close to the HR department, often taking on tasks such as recruiting, onboarding, employee engagement and training. The biggest difference is arguably not within the tasks themselves, but in the way of thinking behind them. A CHO (and the company that hires them) acknowledges that happy employees are more loyal, and more productive**. Their main goal is to spread happiness throughout the workplace, to ensure that employees can develop themselves, produce creative and high quality output, and function well as a team. Sounds neat, doesn't it?
As we all know, not all people can be pleased in the same way. Some of us will love some classical music in the background while working, some would fare better with some heavy metal (see Michael Burry in The Big Short). Some light up when they receive a birthday cake and full serenade from their colleagues, while it may make some seriously consider jumping out the window. In all, it is the Chief Happiness Officer's task to make sure everyone feels valued and listened to. Employee Engagement Surveys, 1-on-1 meetings, trainings adjusted to employees' career needs are all examples of ways in which to increase the happiness of employees. And of course, nobody would object to a stack of fresh waffles and a jug of hot coffee on a Monday morning*.


**Research shows that happiness makes people over 10% more productive

New study shows we work harder when we are happy

Mieke Aarsman's picture
Consultant | IT Recruitment