Monday, October 10, 2016

6 Ways to Foster More Happiness in the Workplace

Happy employees are more productive, more creative and less likely to leave. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to create a fun environment at your workplace. If you embody your ideal corporate culture and integrate joy and laughter into your daily routine, your employees will follow.
It’s wise to do everything you can to prevent dissatisfaction among your employees. A large turnover rate can quickly erode your hard work and deplete your resources. Once a staff member starts to look for other career options, he's already got one foot out the door.
As you grow your business, invest a little time to make your company a great place to work. Pay attention to the personality traits of your current staff, hire new employees carefully and foster an environment of joy, hard work and professionalism. The following tips will help you create a corporate culture full of fun.
1. Lead by example. Your employees will follow your lead when it comes to corporate culture and behavior. If your only interactions with your team are serious and formal, your employees will feel the need to be professional at all times. Be open about your past mistakes and learning moments. Add a little self-deprecating humor when it’s appropriate to help your employees view you as human and approachable. When staff members feel joyful, they’re more motivated and produce better work.
2. Don’t confuse seriousness and solemnity. Laughter is often a way for people to deal with intensely stressful situations. If your company is in the middle of a crisis and an employee cracks a joke, don’t assume they’re not taking the situation seriously. Humor can be a great catalyst for creative ideas and problem solving. The more your staff members are worried about how to correctly behave, the less they’ll be focused on finding a solution.


Monday, October 3, 2016

The Surprising Truth About Workplace Happiness

Most bosses understand (if only in theory) that happy employees are more productive than miserable ones. However, it turns out that many of the things that make employees happier don't make them more productive.

For example, companies often try to make their employees happier by trying to make the workplace more fun, like by having an onsite video game parlor and or an in-house gym. Other companies host community-building exercises to build a greater sense of connection.
Unfortunately, while these approaches may make employees happier, they probably don't increase employee productivity and may end up having the opposite effect. Let me explain.
Over the past three years, Harvard University researcher Matthew A. Killingsworth has been compiling data from users of a smartphone app called Track Your Happiness, which lets people report, in real time, how they actually feel.
The most surprising result of this study is that we're most often the happiest when we're lost in what we're doing, aka being "in the zone." Conversely, we become less happy when our minds wander.
Surprisingly, it doesn't really matter what we're doing when we're "in the zone," as long as we're not being distracted or in a situation where we're bored.
In other words, employees aren't more productive when they're happy. They're happy when they're focused, which can make them more productive as an accidental byproduct.
Therefore, an onsite video game parlor (for instance) can increase employee happiness because video games are mentally absorbing, but that happiness isn't going to translate into more productivity.
On the contrary, if the work itself doesn't allow the employee to focus and get "in the zone," the activity will suffer by comparison to the "fun" part of the workplace.
Rather than trying to make employees happy by adding a sugarcoat of "fun" to a bitter pill of work, companies should make it easier for employees to become absorbed in their work, thereby making them more productive and happier at the same time.
With this in mind, there are four obvious strategies:
1. Don't give people too much work.  When people are overloaded to the point where they know they can't get everything done, they immediately focus on how much work they've got to do, rather than on actually doing it.
2. Don't give people too little work.  When people don't have enough to do, their minds wander and, with time on their hands, start finding other things to focus on, like workplace gossip or, yes, playing video games.
3. Remove distractions from the workplace. Provide private or doubled-up offices rather than bullpens or cubicle farms. Reduce the overall noise level. Set aside time during the day where corporate email is disabled.
4. Institute work/life balance policies. Flexible work hours, remote working policies, and generous paid sick leave allow employees to handle the distractions of their personal lives on their own time, so that they can focus on work when they're actually working.

Friday, September 23, 2016

3 Uncommon Ways To Drive Happiness In The Workplace

"Countless studies have found that social relationships are the best guarantee of heightened well-being and lowered stress," Achor told me, "and both are an antidote for depression and a prescription for high performance."
While it’s all too common in business for bosses to spot a few employees chatting it up in the halls and instinctively conclude that they’re dodging work, the research proves that the better people feel about workplace relationships, the more effective they become.
When surveying employee engagement all over the world, Gallup routinely asks workers, "Do you have a supervisor or someone at work who cares about you?" While many CEOs have asked Gallup to remove this question with the belief that it’s inherently soft and un-useful, Gallup discovered that people who answered "yes" to it were more productive, contributed more to profits, and were significantly more likely to remain with the firm.
During the early days of the financial meltdown, financial services firm, UBS, elected to eliminate the beer carts that circulated on the market floor every Friday afternoon. Achor told me that there was one manager who noticed an immediate and negative impact on his team’s spirits tied to this one cost-cutting move—and he decided to dip into his pocket to bring it back. As the economic crisis wore on, his team proved to be tighter, stronger, and less inclined to leave for a higher paying job. "I’m a professional investor," the manager said, "and this was the best investment I ever made."
Said Achor, "that simple act of paying for refreshments showed that he cared about his team’s level of happiness—not just their level of performance. And we now know those two things are directly linked."

Yale Psychologist Amy Wrzesniewski interviewed hundreds of workers in all professions and found that people have one of three work "orientations" or mindsets:
  1. They see work as being a "job," or a chore, and use the paycheck as its reward.
  2. They approach work as a "career" and work to advance and succeed.
  3. They see their work as a "calling" and find work fulfilling because it gives them feelings of meaning and purpose.
Wrzesniewski shows that people with a calling will work harder and longer simply because their jobs are rewarding. Consequently, Achor’s advice to hiring managers is to ask people, "Where do you see yourself in ten years?" Their answer will reveal how much of their heart they’ll likely bring to their work.

University of North Carolina psychologist, Barbara Frederickson, took a team of researchers into 60 companies and transcribed every word used in their business meetings. Afterwards, they parsed every sentence for positive and negative words, and took a simple ratio of the positive-to-negative statements.
What they discovered was that the companies with the greatest financial performance had a better than 3:1 ratio for positive communication. They additionally found that a ratio of 6:1 was characteristic of teams with consistently extraordinary achievement.
Achor’s advice: "Go out of your way to build employee strengths instead of routinely correcting weaknesses. When you dip below the Losada line, performance quickly suffers."
The idea that it’s become the job of organizations to foster employee happiness is unquestionably one that still rankles many in business. Many of us can’t get beyond the traditional belief that happy workers produce unhappy shareholders.
But Achor offers this advice to the slow-to-adapt and openly skeptical: "We’re hitting a tipping point where we realize we can no longer increase the number of hours and stress loads that we’re putting on people to raise their level of productivity.
"What we’re finding is that if you want to see what people are capable of achieving, it requires new types of leadership—and new definitions of how we pursue happiness in organizations."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Importance of Happiness in the Workplace

Many people feel that if they become successful at work, they will automatically become happy. But according to Shawn Achor, founder and CEO of Good Think, Inc., that scenario should be reversed. It’s important to become happy, which will then help you become a success. Achor makes it his business to study the psychology of happiness in the workplace. He consults with organizations worldwide and regularly publishes his findings on his website (www.shawnachor .com). His ground-breaking book, The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, was published in 2010.

Monday, September 19, 2016

An Unexpected Way to Stop People from Quitting

Great idea! At Lykki we have a fun on boarding process where all new partners get a chance to try different departments, but hits is a whole new "level up".

At my company, year after year we score high in our employee satisfaction surveys. Yet, despite these results, we still see a sizeable chunk of annual staff turnover.

This has always bothered me. If people love the company, why are they leaving?
In part, it’s simply a sign of the times. Millennials change jobs more frequently: an average of once every 2.5 years during the first decade out of college. That’s double the rate of their Gen X predecessors.
But I wanted to better understand the actual reasons why this happens. So over the past year, we spoke to a range of employees in an effort to find out. In doing so, I realized it wasn’t about compensation (or, at least, just about compensation). Nor was it problems with bosses or coworkers. Many people were leaving because they wanted to try something new. They wanted to be challenged with a different role and different set of responsibilities.
We were losing A players, in other words, because they were bored. Personal development is far more than just a buzzword to Millennials. In fact, 65% of Millennials say that personal development is the most important factor on the job, according to a UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School study. And this doesn’t mean just levelling up an existing skill set. It means being able to explore and internalize different skills entirely: to learn something new.
I can relate. As a career entrepreneur, I know the allure of moving from one venture to another, gaining new knowledge with each pivot. But that same dynamic doesn’t always work within a company, where people are hired for discrete roles and expected to excel within clear boundaries. If one of our developers decides he or she is bored with coding and wants to pursue a love of blogging for a living instead, for example, that person probably needs to find a new place to work.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

25 little things that make you happy at work

You know those little things that make your day shine and are not really connected to you in any way? Either your colleague’s attitude, the way your work space is organised or random surprises that your colleagues treat you with can make every day at work more and more enjoyable.

Little things that make people feel happy at work 

1.Sociable colleagues

Isn’t everything better when you have nice sociable colleagues to work with?

2. Doing tasks that have meaning for me

Let’s say you choose a job just for paying your rent and you’re waiting for a dream job opportunity. But, whatever you’re doing you want to be appreciated for your work. And how can we judge a fish by its climbing skills? We can’t.

3. Constructive feedback

The most important part of your work is feedback. No matter if it’s positive or negative (and then you will know what you have to change) feedback represents a very important instrument for measuring the quality of your work. And a complete feedback that has only the best intentions can transform your day in a very productive and cheerful one.

4. Smiling co-workers

A smile never cost anybody anything and a day seems to go better when you are surrounded by colleagues that smile and are willingly to help you anytime or just to hug you when you are not feeling ok.

Credit Card Rep Sent This Customer The Sweetest Surprise Post-Breakup

WE LOVE amazing service like this!!

It was just her being like, ‘It’s cool, girl. You’re gonna be OK.’”
Fairy godmothers do exist in real life: Just ask 36-year-old Pittsburgh resident Christina Grady.
When her fiancĂ© called off their engagement six weeks ago, Grady made plans to move into a new apartment. But in the process of buying furniture for the new address, her Capital One credit card was shut down due to suspicious activity.
Enter Grady’s fairy godmother: In a Facebook post that’s since gone viral, Grady recounts how she called Capital One to clear up the matter and was connected to a customer service rep known only as “Tonya KYY905.”