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Don’t Worry, Work Happy

By Jeff Waite | Small Business

Work and worry are often synonymous. Is that something you can relate to? Well, if so, I honestly don’t blame you.

You see…

Whether you work as a back-office admin, a customer-facing outside sales rep or you reside somewhere in the middle, work has undoubtedly stressed you out at one point or another… right?

But here’s the thing:

Research shows that happy workers are some of the most productive professionals around. Happy employees work harder, cost less and generally drive improved results for your business. So if that doesn’t make you grin, what will?

And hey, now that you’re willing to admit fostering a bunch of negative Nancy’s won’t help you advance your organization, you must be wondering, “how do you consistently catalyze smiles in your office?”

Three Big Factors Influencing Employee Satisfaction:

(1) Executives Must Lead By Example:  For the record, I’m referring to both leading in terms of getting work done and leading in terms of your attitude about getting the work done. In particular…

If you create a positive environment it will be much easier to satisfy your employees than if you put them in a boiler room environment and yell at them until they produce. And if you show them what can be done with action rather than just words, you’re bound to inspire some highly-effective copycats.

Now this should make sense intuitively. But when times get tough and stress levels run high, that’s when you need to lead with your very best examples. Dig deep. It’s hard to underestimate the leadership influence of executives who set a strong example.

(2) Enable Ownership: Whether your’e an employee of the Fortune 500, or a work-from home freelancer, you will be happier when you’re empowered and enabled with a little ownership over your projects and deliverables. And on the other hand…

If you’re the one occupying the corner office, don’t be afraid to extend a little “creative latitude” to your employees. Hand them the ball and let them run. You’ll be amazed at the results. Both in terms of the mood around the office and the impressive ideas you’re sure to see implemented.

Of course you want to provide support, but don’t be afraid to set expectations for ownership (and accountability), while you work on your own projects.

And finally, remember…

 

Your People are People: This one should almost go without saying. But that’s exactly why I’m saying it. As your company grows it can be entirely too easy to reduce your staff to units of labor that you can pull and stretch ad nauseum to get the results you need to meet inflated shareholder expectations.

But avoid these inclinations. And stay focused on the fact that everyone is unique.

Because when you see people only as resources, you treat them as such. And rather than being commoditized, people do best when they’re valued and treated for what they are, people. Leverage the unique attributes, values and strengths of your staff if you really want your organization to get ahead. That’s easy enough, right?

Is Happiness Really the Answer?

In a world where shareholder value is idealized as the be-all and end-all of business, it can be hard to take this talk of happiness seriously. But investing in a more pleasant workplace is exactly what can drive sustainable long term competitive advantages.

And if you still aren’t convinced about encouraging a positive environment, you might enjoy this article about South West Airlines.  You’ll see I’m not the only one espousing the value of driving profit through satisfied staff.

So as you can see, a lot of it boils down to treating others the way you would want to be treated. Be empathetic with your colleagues and coworkers, and create a work environment you’ll look forward to. And for those bottom-line focused executives who are still skeptical of the happiness advantage, don’t forget the immortal words of Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Don’t Worry, Work Happy

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