In the past 20 years, the world of psychology has moved from looking at what ails us to looking at what supports us and makes us happier, more productive people. “Positive psychology,” as it is called, is backed up by research done at universities like Harvard, Yale and Cambridge. Book after book on happiness have been best-sellers (including mine!) and a few maverick companies are even appointing Chief Happiness Officers, though not without controversy. There’s a fine line between striving to create a happier workplace and instituting creepy, Big Brother-style policies. No one is advocating the latter, but if you put these three simple policies in action, you’re sure to notice changes over time.
- Set a great example. You’re reading this because you’re a leader. Leaders lead, and very often lead most effectively by example. Think of your demeanor when you interact with your staff – would they say you are more happy, contented or gruff? If they’d say happy or contented, great – you’re already setting the right tone and may just need minor tweaks to encourage more contentment and happiness around you. If they’d say gruff, then you might want to re-think your management style. How can you be happier? Get some fresh air before going into the office or during the day. Just 20 minutes of fresh air will improve your outlook. If you truly don’t know what they’d say, ask them, and be open to hearing whatever they share without argument. People love to help, and it makes them happier. Let them help you.
- Spread random goodness. Make a habit of randomly doing something nice for an employee. When you stop for your own coffee on the way in, buy a coffee for the security guard. When a client gives you good feedback, share it with the employee most closely related to that win. You know that lady in the third cubicle – the one with all the pictures of her toddler? Give her a ToysRUs gift card. One random thing a day – five random things a week – will create a happy buzz in your business. It won’t cost you much, and will go a long way towards keeping your employees engaged and excited to be on your team.
- End on a high note. No matter how bad the day was, find something to celebrate, and share it with your key players. Humans are hard-wired to remember and focus on the negative, and that’s not the highway to happiness! The good news is that making a habit of looking for the good things and sharing them can help increase not only your personal happiness, but the happiness culture in your business. Your most influential employees should be part of this daily celebration – let them know what went right, and you can bet they’ll share the good news. People love to be on a winning team – focus on what’s right and watch the high-fives happen!
I work with organizations to boost morale, productivity and the bottom line. To discuss how we can work together to improve your situation, email or call and I’ll customize a program to address your needs.