The fund will be financed by employees through voluntary contributions.
In February, the Government of the United Arab Emirates set up its first Ministry of Happiness with the vision to create social good. It also has a national programme in place, which looks into the investment in an individual’s happiness and positivity. It believes that the happiness level of the society will boost productivity and innovation.
A Dubai-based theme park company, Dubai Parks and Resorts, has taken this vision quite seriously. It launched a Happiness Fund for its employees. Being in the entertainment business, it sure does make sense for the company, which believes that it’s important for employees to be happy so that its guests can be happier.
Surprisingly, the happiness account will be funded not by the employer, but the employees, and through voluntary contributions. The objective is to create a contingency fund, which the employees can use during emergency situations, like a medical emergency, as well as during happy occasions, such as a child birth or a wedding.
This theme park, which will be operational by October, has also formed a Happiness Committee, to measure the happiness quotient of its employees. Comprising internal team members, the Committee will review the happiness quotient of both its colleagues as well as the guests to ensure that every moment is amazing.
“We are in the business of fun, so it is extremely important for all our employees to ensure that every interaction with a consumer is a happy and fun moment. Our new Happiness Fund will be funded by the employees for the employees and will provide our entire staff with access to improve their happiness,” the company’s chief executive officer, Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi, said.
The park also has other initiatives in place to boost employee happiness. The company has an internal Gemba team (meaning ‘the real place’ in Japanese) that aims to simply bring people together.
Since its launch in early 2015, the Gemba team has organised team-building events, an annual National Day Awareness programme, and has also sponsored employees for activities, such as the Dubai Marathon.
The UAE has been ranked the happiest Arab country in the world since 2012, according to the United Nations World Happiness Report.
(HRKatha is organising The Happiness Conclave on April 29, at Taj Vivanta, MG Road, Bengaluru. This day-long conference will see HR leaders discussing and debating on happiness as the key ingredient of business strategies and goals. For more information, click here)