Video from my keynote in India

I just discovered a short video on youtube from my keynote at this year’s World HRD Congress in Mumbai India:

In my talk, I told the participants that India absolutely needs more happiness at work. It’s not that workplaces there are particularly bad, it’s just that the war for talent is still going strong. Indian workplaces are facing some stark realities:

  • Employee turnover among specialists and middle managers is around 20-30%.
  • Annual average pay rises are 12-13%.
  • There is a huge fight to attract newly educated Gen Y employees.

In short, Indian workplaces are doing their best to attract the best people, keep them in the workplace and help them perform optimally. The problem is that they’re doing all the wrong things, e.g. wellness programs, bonuses, pay raises, promotions, etc. While there’s nothing wring with any of this, it simply isn’t what makes employees happy at work – at most it makes them satisfied.

In my speech, I tried to focus on what really does make people happy at work – and therefore more likely to stay in the workplace, more likely to do their best work and more likely to try to convince acquaintances, friends and family to also work there. And it seemed to really ring a bell. Here’s some sample feedback from my keynote:

“Your presentation was the best I’ve seen in 20 years in HR.”

“It was really great listening to your talk. I have implemented a lot of it in my life and I can already feel a huge difference.”

“Alexander Kjerulf was the rock star in the World HRD congress this year. He mesmerized participants from 79 countries with a simple yet powerful approach to create a happy work place.”

Your take

What is your opinion of Indian workplaces? Are people there happy and fulfilled or just going through the motions?

5 thoughts on “Video from my keynote in India”

  1. I’m not quite sure what happens in Indian workplaces – or how happy people are at those places – but I did write in to say that I liked your video that was taken at the 2011 World HRD Congress immensely. That saying from Soichiro Honda blew me away, in particular. I always thought the the Japanese were very consensual and thought in terms of the groups’ best interest so the “Each individual should work for himself” part was quite surprising. And in this time of recession the “people come to work to enjoy themselves” is something that few expect. The mindset these days, I think, is more along the lines of “I’m lucky to even have a job in the first place” so people tend to put up with being miserable. I definitely agree with you that people should and must be happy at work in order to thrive and to help the company make more money.

  2. Hey Alexander,

    Happiness is crucial at workplace. When one is unhappy at work that means they don’t want to be there at the moment so there is no room for creativity to bloom.
    Great vid! & Good Share!

  3. Customer Experience is core of every business activities. Every enterprise either creates plain, awesome or miserable customer experience by its initiatives, day in and day out, everyday with every customer. WITHOUT FAIL. Irony is; still most, yes most enterprises do not have someone completely in charge of customer xperience alone. People are functional incharge and CEOs are too thinly divided in various acts.

    End Results: Endless run around to achieve targets, daily fire fighting, unhappy customers, unhappy employees, unhappy suppliers and ofcourse unhappy share holders. Today

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