This month we are focusing on happiness. Why? Because research has shown that our level of happiness has an impact on our results. Higher levels of happiness lead to higher levels of engagement and better results in all aspects of life.
Need proof? Here it is! Statistics for many years have reinforced the fact that it can be tough to have a high % of your population at work engaged, that there is a lot of money lost (or to be gained) when we lose and have to replace employees, and that higher engagement among employees helps the bottom line—profits, stock, retention.
Can you imagine working in an organization with no happiness? Would you want to work there? The difference in retention and productivity would be immense.
As a leader, you need to have measurements in place to ensure there's happiness within your organization. You may be asking… How do you do that? What type of measurements? It's pretty simple if you follow 2 key steps
stay in touch with your associates (in all departments)
make sure your action is speaking louder than words
You can take a manager out to lunch and ask for honest feedback. Take your mailroom person out for a cup of coffee and ask them the same questions. Ask things such as what would increase their "Happiness" at work.
During these challenging times of distancing, remote work and hybrid offices, simply having the conversations and asking how they're doing will increase the employee's workplace happiness because you are showing them that their opinion matters and that they are valued part of the organization. I can promise you, as a leader for over three decades now, caring for your employees makes all the difference in the individual's happiness meter!
So, how does the happiness meter work?
Practicing this exercise individually will help you to understand and sample some of the benefits of implementing the 110 Philosophy into your organization. You can dig deeper into the happiness meter in the book on pages 92-87.
The first step to happiness is being aware of your happiness level and knowing when your “happiness meter” is running low. When your meter is low, you know that it is time to reflect on why and make some changes. This check-in exercise can be done regularly so that you can take action when your meter is low - before it’s below empty.
Ask the important questions: What does happiness look like to you? Why does it matter?
*Hint: you should ask these same questions about your team/organization.*
Dr. Laurie Redfield is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Therapist, and part of the 110 Philosophy team. She points out: “The trick is to be paying attention to your own body, listening to your internal voice at to where you are in the present moment and then do something about it. In other words, where are you currently and where do you want to be.
No more pushing uncomfortable thoughts and feelings to the side and pretending they will go away. Uncomfortable thoughts and feelings will only go away once you shed light on them.
Understanding your thought generates a feeling. To change that feeling one must act; do something to change the thought to change the feeling.”
Recognizing your own thought patterns and self-talk habits are important in changing your happiness level. Once you figure out where you are on the happiness meter the next step is to figure out where you want to be and why. The same principles can be applied in an organization. What patterns and routines are established, what type of language is used… how often are employees corrected vs praised. Do they feel valued? How happy and productive is your team? What are the goals for these areas (where you want to be)? What changes can you implement to achieve these goals?
You may find that your team is very happy and production is fantastic. You still want to gauge the meter using the same steps so that you can identify what is working well and increase those efforts and/or apply the same strategies in other areas. And of course, the same thing goes for the individual!