Edited by: Shereen Shabnam
What really does make one happy? When Fiji was declared the happiest nation in the world, many UAE residents asked me why I was working round the clock in the UAE when I came from a country, often seen by visitors as paradise. The answer is simple…. I crave creativity, new innovations and vibrancy round the clock and Dubai as a city gives me that. There are always content ideas with new announcements and as a writer, I find so much inspiration and that makes me happier than anything else.
I still get a dose of the Islands and the natural beauty with my annual visits to Fiji and I always go equipped with so much content, that writing there is a pleasure as I write from a different perspective. I also love that UAE places a lot of emphasis on happiness.
Recently, Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness, unveiled a Customer Happiness Formula to provide an effective tool for government employees to achieve the happiness goals under the UAE’s National Programme for Happiness and Positivity initiative.
HE Al Roumi is keen to transform all government ministries and institutions to happiness destinations by issuing happiness policies and programmes and creating a happy work environment. She mentions that the Customer Happiness Formula is one of the comprehensive initiatives to develop government services and build effective partnerships between employees and customers by scientifically measuring the level of customer happiness.
The national program for happiness is based on three themes: Happiness and positivity in government work; Happiness and positivity in lifestyle; and Measuring happiness and positivity.
A recent seminar, attended by deputy ministers, director generals and a number of officials from federal entities, highlighted the role of the senior management in government entities in creating a work environment that fosters innovative ideas and translates them into services that deliver happiness and positivity.
Her Excellency Hessa Essa Buhumaid, Assistant Director General for Government Services in the Prime Minister’s Office, said as one of the major initiatives of the National Programme for Happiness and Positivity, the Customer Happiness Formula is an important tool in achieving happiness and positivity in the government work.
Addressing a lecture on ‘Common Services Design for Happier Customers’, Marc Stickdorn, an expert in service design, described how services can be innovated by involving the customer to make customer possible. He described the Customer Happiness Formula as the translation of the UAE government’s approach to achieve happiness for all. Stickdorn explained that the current and future global trends are focused on customer experiences to offer service that meet needs and aspirations of customers, and engage them effectively in designing services that achieve their happiness.
He also described five principles to design services based on happiness of customers: Understanding the visions and aspirations of customers; Involving customers in the service design; Sequencing services within a series of interrelated factors; Designing services based on stages of service development; and Taking into account the environment of providing the services.
Dr. Mohammed Mattar Al Kaabi, Chairman of the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments, commended the UAE efforts to adopted initiatives to offer happiness to the community within a national framework. The concept of happiness has been inherited from the founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who worked hard to make the UAE an incubator for happiness, and created an environment of happiness for all citizens and residents.
Mohamed Ali Bin Zayed Al Falasi, Deputy Governor of the UAE Central Bank, said the bank is working to develop the mechanisms to ensure happiness for all customers. Al Falasi added that the mechanisms will be based on a set of standards to measure quality, efficiency, regulations and legislation that ensure a better experience to banking customers.
Saif Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Assistant Undersecretary for Institutional and Support Services in the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation, pointed that the Customer Happiness Formula offers an integrated tool to achieve the desired goals in customer happiness.
Stating that a happy work environment reflects positively on employees and brings happiness to customers, Al Suwaidi said the UAE government under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been working to provide happiness for all segments of society. He commended government entities for adopting the visions and directives of His Highness and turning them into reality in a short period of time.
I feel ever so lucky to be part of two countries where happiness shapes our outlook of life and keeps us smiling.