Column Simon McDonald – Managing Director UK

At DVJ Insights, we say that the J stands for Joy. It stands for Jansen really – one of our founders – but it fits my column nicely, so here we go.  As part of Joy, we like our employees (and clients) to be happy.  To facilitate that, we have innovation days, extra holidays, contribution to gym membership and a plan to make DVJ the best place to work. We are currently discussing how to make our Research Experts more closely involved in the success of projects and sales for the company and increase job satisfaction. There is also a Dutch spirit of openness and directness – sometimes challenging for an Englishman, but I’m learning!

Last month, I attended the Market Research Society Conference in London, a two-day event showcasing and discussing the best the world of research and insight has to offer.

The mornings key note speech was from Bruce Daisley – EVP in Europe for Twitter.  He also writes and presents about the modern world of work – in his successful and entertaining podcast EAT, SLEEP, WORK, REPEAT which aims to “make work better”, and the bestselling book “The Joy of Work”.

The cynic in me is no fan of evangelical tones telling me where my life has gone wrong, and how to fix it (I’ll make my own mistakes thanks a lot) but Bruce is such an engaging and down to earth presenter, and he writes with such clarity, that it was a highlight of the conference for me. Pick up his book and read about the 30 ways to fix your culture and fall in love with work again.

Among his criticisms of modern bosses and workplace culture he included open plan offices (Frank Lloyd Wright), insane working hours (Elon Musk) and treating your staff poorly in his targets.  Most resonating for me was the tale of VW and ex-boss Ferdinand Piech and the stress he induced in his employees. Bruce proves conclusively that stress, fear and a bad working environment is bad for creativity (and ultimately led to the dieselgate scandal as employees were too scared to reveal the difficulty in hitting emission targets and so the company colluded to cheat tests and cover up the real emissions levels of vehicles).

At DVJ, we endorse this human approach and incorporate a happiness monitor in the office every day as people leave the building to help us measure employee happiness and correlate it with different periods, as well as the elements mentioned before. “The Joy of Work” might not be on everyone’s reading list, but we do try to improve the joy on a daily basis. And if you’re looking to join a vibrant company, get in touch, we’d love to share the joy!