Focusing on employee happiness after Brexit

12 February 2019

Lord Price (who used to run John Lewis and Waitrose) is encouraging the Government to focus on employee happiness after Brexit.

He has surveyed workplace happiness for several years via his website Engaging Works. His research apparently shows that the UK is ranked tenth in the world for workplace happiness. Austria came out on top.

Lord Price says his data shows that there is a link between workplace happiness and UK productivity. He points to high sickness absence and staff turnover in the UK. He wants the Government to issue a 'happiness strategy' to help counter these trends.

In theory, it sounds lovely doesn’t it? However, Lord Price's ideas include compelling employers to share profits with employees, put employees on boards and provide more information to employees on company performance. He also thinks that it should be mandatory for businesses to upskill employees and retrain them. This might sound ideal but is not always possible or desirable.

Post-Brexit, happiness for everyone might depend more on the government securing a Brexit deal, rather than a happiness charter. Once we've secured that, the quest for happiness all round seems much more achievable.

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