Today’s article is sparked by Seth Godin’s latest article on airports (well, not exactly airports) that ends with a rather sad conclusion:
No one is having any fun. Most people who work at airports have precisely the same demeanor as people who work at a cemetery. The system has become so industrialized that personal expression is apparently forbidden.”
Unfortunately, I think this is the case in more than the airport industry. I think we can relate even to the medical industry, where most problems only have minor ripples within HR departments.
As Hppy’s future products (happiness monitoring tools, feedback integrations etc.) are oriented mostly towards startups, small teams and generally SMBs I can’t help but wonder if we should set our goals higher and try to challenge the status quo in some gigantic, industrialized businesses?
Simply assuming that they will be “inspired” by what small companies are doing (or at least trying to do with) and will become more responsive to their employee’s needs and stop dehumanizing them is purely naive. That (unfortunately) only happens once in a while and is triggered usually by a PR crisis or a strike. And the solutions that are given are just “good enough” so company numbers won’t be affected dramatically.
Edit: there are some exceptions that confirm the rule, such as Google’s “happiness policy”, covered by Slate in the article “The Happiness Machine“.