Across all industries we have seen an increase in employee engagement related roles, anecdotally dubbed “Chief Fun Officer”. Whilst it is true we have yet to be handed a job description for a dedicated fun officer role, we have definitely seen firms specifically assign responsibility for employee job satisfaction and engagement to all manner of disciplines. This is no longer something that falls solely to HR professionals organising annual team bonding or social outings, and it is recognised that a wider variety of roles are strategically placed to influence workplace “fun”. Whilst some titles are new and nod to a more dedicated or progressive approach – such as Innovation Manager or Community Manager – others such as Strategy Manager or Office Manager have had the responsibility written into their descriptions. Either way, it is clear headcount is being created to address how happy, comfortable and engaged employees are in their workplace environment.
Why are organisation creating such roles and how is it done?
Employee engagement and satisfaction is a powerful factor in a successful business model. Engaged employees possess a more positive attitude to their work which is reflected in their behaviour and productivity, and most importantly a firm’s ability to retain key staff more easily.
Employees normally make decisions on how engaged they want to be at work depending on their feelings towards levels of empowerment, motivation and satisfaction. An employer’s responsibility and role in this is to create a culture and environment that is conducive to employees working their full potential, thus increasing productivity.
A conducive environment should include all four of the following factors :
- An effective recognition and rewards system
- Frequent, constructive feedback
- Facilitating positive relationships with co-workers through internal events/socials, competitive activities and the opportunity to be defined beyond a job title
- High level of quality of the physical space, appropriately designed for function and form to create a pleasant working environment
Whilst most organisations focus on feedback and communications channels that enable feedback and provide the stepping stone to a rewards program, the newer roles we are seeing emerge are tasked with introducing the more social element that ensures everyone is provided with the opportunity to be happy in the workplace and motivated and enthused when interacting with their colleagues.
What are the requirements of Chief Fun Officer?
This is more of a personality hire, rather than a prerequisite list of qualifications and experiences. We see candidates with PR, events, HR, admin, business development and marketing backgrounds taking on roles with staff engagement as a major portion of their mandate. For standalone positions, reporting to management levels, successful candidates are normally able to demonstrate the following qualities:
- Experience in event management, someone who develops ideas for events/activities based on a set of business requirements rather than someone who has just executed events
- Creativity is important for the role with experience of hosting internal events and understanding work space satisfaction (lighting, common rooms, inter-department socials, whether to have background music in common space etc.)
- Someone with strong communication skills who is able to liaise with staff at all levels from interns to senior executives
- Mature and able to handle complex matrix reporting to stakeholders
In conclusion, whilst we are unlikely to see these roles across the board, we are seeing the larger commercial organisations, banks and financial institutions in Hong Kong develop roles that are dedicated to employee engagement. It seems to be a standalone role right now, but there is the potential for departments of up to four or five people, all working to ensure a happy workplace culture and environment for everyone.
For more information, please contact -
Ee Vonne Ong
Human Resources & Corporate Services
Hong Kong, Asia Pacific
+852 2537 0333
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