The joy equation: Decoding happiness at work 

Alejandro Velasquez
Alejandro Velasquez

Sep 07, 2023 | 3 min read

Alejandro Velasquez HR leader at Startek® Honduras has always believed a positive and happy work culture is paramount to the success of any organization. So, when he was recognized as the ‘Happiness Ambassador,’ by the Association of Culture and Employer Branding Leaders (ALCEB), Digital HR and Awards of Happiness®, it wasn't just a personal achievement, it was a validation of the path Alejandro has been passionately treading. 

In this blog, Alejandro shares his journey and his perspective on what happiness at work truly means. 

“My journey as an HR leader began with a conviction that fostering happiness within work could be a transformative force for associates and employers alike. I envisioned a workplace where team members not only felt valued and supported but were also empowered to thrive. This vision became the driving force behind my work, leading me to initiate programs and policies that focus on enhancing well-being and create a positive and engaging work culture. 

For me, happiness at the workplace transcends the boundaries of professional satisfaction. It's about stepping into the office each day with a sense of purpose, excited about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. It's the genuine enthusiasm I feel when working alongside colleagues who share a common goal, each contributing their unique strengths.

Alejandro Velasquez - Sr. Manager, HR

Happiness is created when associates having the freedom to voice ideas, the confidence that their well-being matters to the organization and the reassurance that their aspirations are valued. This holistic sense of fulfillment translates into greater engagement, enhanced creativity and a genuine connection to the work and goals of the business. 

The foundation of my strategy lies in promoting empathy and open communication. By engaging in conversations and soliciting feedback, I gain insights into the challenges team members face as well as an understanding of their aspirations. This enables me to tailor initiatives and training to address their needs, ultimately creating an environment conducive to happiness and that promotes a sense of belonging. 

To me, fostering a happy workplace isn't about grand gestures. It is built on consistent and meaningful actions. I've had the privilege of spearheading several associate engagement activities for Startek Honduras that have significantly contributed to a happier workplace. Regular team-building sessions have fostered camaraderie, enabling associates to bond beyond their roles. Moreover, mentorship programs have provided a platform for cross-functional learning and growth, instilling a sense of purpose and investment in team members’ professional journey. One of the noteworthy initiatives we have is the Top Performer ceremony, a much-anticipated quarterly event. This program stands as a testament to our company's commitment to valuing and appreciating the efforts of our associates. Acknowledging the hard work and contribution of our teams instills a sense of accomplishment and motivation that resonates throughout the organization. This initiative not only uplifts the spirits but also reinforces a culture of appreciation and continued excellence that is inherent in the Startek value Champion Innovation. 

The Startek values unite us behind a shared set of behaviors that are common to all associates within our business regardless of region or role. The Work Together value promotes collaboration to deliver better outcomes. I find that fostering an environment where unique strengths are celebrated, ideas are embraced and collaboration flourishes creates an inclusivity that leads to meaningful connections, which in turn contribute to our happiness. It's in these connections that we find support, friendship and a shared sense of purpose that drives us to overcome challenges and achieve milestones together. 

Being recognized as a Happiness Ambassador, I am more convinced than ever that happiness is not just an end goal but a continuous journey. As an HR leader, I believe that aligning with the company’s vision, mission and values is pivotal in creating a harmonious workplace where associates feel connected to the larger purpose. As I look ahead, my mission remains steadfast - to champion the cause of happiness by reminding us all that creating a happy workplace is not just a responsibility, it's a privilege that enriches our professional lives and drives our collective success. 

As I reflect on our efforts to foster a culture of collaboration, inclusivity and happiness for our team in Honduras I'm reminded of the incredible strides we've made together. By placing emphasis on teamwork, we've not only achieved our goals but also created an environment where associates thrive and happiness flourishes. My journey as an HR leader has led me to play a role in transforming work cultures to create workplaces where associates want to stay, learn and grow. By advocating open communication, prioritizing growth, embracing flexibility and nurturing a culture of appreciation, Startek Honduras is a workplace where associates feel content, connected and committed. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to cultivate an environment where happiness isn't just a goal but a way of life that drives both associates and the organization toward greater success and fulfillment.” 

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