By | Published On: February 22, 2024 |

Welcome to episode 167 of our podcast, The Executive Edge with Richard Clarke.

Richard ClarkeRichard found it difficult to decide what he wanted to do in life, but he resolved to be happy while he searched. In fact, it was a career’s meeting that began the process because he was asked to think about what made him happy. He travelled, did a variety of jobs and spent several years experiencing life before his chosen career. He quit the piecemeal work after a while though, because he felt he had no purpose.

Ten years ago, he started an IT company with a colleague.  He wanted to make sure his employees felt happy as he recognised this feature of their working life made a big difference. Money was less important to him, but being surrounded by a team was important.

What did he discover?

He realised there are five drivers for happiness at work. These include safety – do you feel able to get paid, not hurt, not bullied and able to speak up. Then community; are you part of a team and feel supported. Autonomy also matters, so that you can achieve what you are asked. This includes feeling trusted to do a good job. The fourth is to have a purpose – do you feel there is a wider or bigger reason for what you do. And the final one is opportunity for growth.

If you’re not happy at work, you’ll probably find one of these resonates with you. So even as a tick list it will make you think!

Richard now builds IT teams for business but when he first began, he copied what the companies in Silicon Valley were doing. It included a dart board, free breakfast on a Thursday, a big pink sofa to sit on. But, he found these ideas were great, but they didn’t achieve what he wanted.

So, something wasn’t right

He realised something was missing. His true revelation came when he discovered the 5 drivers, and began to work towards managing his team with these in mind. Not just ‘we are going to build this website’ but why it is important to build it. That way people engaged with the purpose of the work, and they experienced a sense of achievement when it was completed.

Richard now runs workshops on this topic. He runs  a short one to help support the ‘how’ you can achieve these top five drivers for happiness.  Also, a longer workshop that personalises what to look for in your own business before targeting the drivers.

You can learn more about his business here: company website