Just loving this article from happiness expert, Dr. Andy Cope on the importance of making your workplace HAPPY…
At some point, you will have rented a car. Most likely, this will have been on holiday. So, here’s a question for you; before you returned the car to the airport, did you wash it?
Why on earth not?
Because it’s not yours, that’s why. To be truthful, you probably didn’t treat it very well either.
Why make your team happy?
Bringing the concept to your team – are your people ‘renting’ or ‘owning’ their jobs? Organisations that achieve ownership will be rewarded with genuine and loving care.
Getting positive psychology in the culture of your organisation is about ‘owning’. You can stop commanding them to be world-class because they will ooze it.
Science has a habit of proving what we already intuitively know. For example:
Happy people get sick less often (and when they do get ill, they recover faster)
Happy people have more energy
Happy people are more optimistic
Happy people are more motivated
Happy people work better with others
Happy people are more creative
Happy people learn faster
Happy people make better decisions
Therefore ‘happiness’ is not just ‘a little bit important’, it’s an essential ingredient in your business success.
Encourage staff to go way beyond SMART objectives. The well-trodden mantra is way past its sell-by date and, besides, achievable and realistic goals are eye-wateringly dull! I encourage HUGGs (huge unbelievably great goals), exciting things that are on the edges of achievability. Giant Leaps. Goals that are worth getting out of bed for.
Become a strengths spotter: uncovering people’s strengths and then finding ways for them to use their strengths every day. Simple? Yup. Are more organisations doing it? Nope.
Positive communication ratio of 6:1. If I was a fly on the wall in your office and could hear 6 positives for every whinge, I’d be fairly sure that your team is rocking and rolling. If it dips below 2:1, the energy will be leaking. If your communication dips the other way (ie, there are more negs than positives) I’d be worried.
Purpose is key. If people have a clear and compelling reason to come to work, they will arrive with a spring in their step. Find (or remind them of) their ‘why?’ A point worth noting, you cannot command happiness or purpose. It’s about creating insight, so they can realise it for themselves.
Care. And I mean genuinely care. Chances are that if your people can respond affirmatively to ‘someone at work seems to care about me as a person’, they will turn up with a positive attitude.
Recruit and promote for attitude rather than skills. Bring positive people in and put them in key roles where they encounter a lot of staff and customers. This creates an emotional ripple effect.
Values are to be lived, not laminated. How many times have I seen values statements on posters [‘we will exceed expectations’] but, scratch the surface, and nobody’s living them. This starts with leadership. Your leaders are the most influential people in the organisation, and the most emotionally contagious. Positive leaders are not nice to have, they’re a must-have! Your leadership team has to be role modelling positive attitudes, language, and behaviours.
Less ‘to-do’ and more’ to-be’. We all have a burgeoning to-do list. The magic sauce comes from switching your attention to the much more powerful ‘to-be’ list. Dare to ask yourself, ‘who am I being while I’m doing those things on my list?’
4-minute rule. Emotions are contagious. If you can commit to being your best self for 4-minutes [bright, smiling, optimistic, enthusiastic…] other people will have almost no choice but to feel good in your presence. If you ask yourself ‘how would the best mum/dad go through the door?’ you’ll find the 4-minute rule also works at home.
Start with yourself. Yes, there’s a sting in the tail! All the above only work if you decide to take charge of your own happiness and positivity. If you’re waiting for everyone else to be happy, you’ll die waiting. It has to start with you.
Andy Cope is a positive psychologist, happiness expert, and author – you can find out more about his work at artofbrilliance.co.uk.
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