For success in 2013, follow this financial investment advice: Make your employees happier. Small Business Computing claims that an increase in profits is likely. Fostering happiness in the office is not just about casual Fridays and the occasional surprise of donuts for breakfast, though, according to Inc Magazine, and business owners should note it takes financial and emotional investment to yield results.
“Get yourself happy,” says Alexander Kjerulf, author of Happy Hour is 9 to 5, in an article for Prevention. The corporate happiness expert emphasizes that like any other desired vibe, a good mood in the office must start from the top. Whether the cause of possible negative feelings stems from cranky customers or internal financial pressure, business owners should be sure to get themselves and their management teams proper training in handing unpleasant situations, according to the publication.
Prevention reports that happiness, even for someone who struggles to maintain it all the time, is something everyone can enjoy with small lifestyle tweaks and mental effort. Andrew Weil, M.D., is the author of Spontaneous Happiness, and he is positive his work can help people feel better, even when times are tough, according to the magazine.
“I don’t think that happiness or depression is a mood we should be in all or even most of the time,” he said in Prevention’s interview. The author noted that accepting the ebb and flow of emotions is key to personal satisfaction, which can be seamlessly transitioned from one’s personal life to time spent at work.
Happiness in a day
While personal happiness may take a lot of quiet alone time to achieve, business owners can help their employees get there faster by making at least some time at work specifically catered to enjoyable community-building, according to Inc Magazine. Co-founder of venture incubator Lamp Post Group Shelley Prevost tells Inc that just one day a month can make all the difference in business. Her company’s effort, she says, is what she calls “Feature Friday” – a day at the end of the month filled with total positive company reflection.
While Prevost encourages businesses to focus on the intangibles of team-building at their own monthly “adult pep-rally,” she reinforces the need for slightly material means of happiness. Specifically, according to Inc, in the form of food and, if appropriate, alcohol. Nothing brings people together and is tempting enough to nudge hard workers away from their desk than mouthfuls of warm pizza or a cold beer at 3 p.m., Inc reports.
Once employees are convinced to take part in the predetermined gathering, business owners have a job to do unlike any other day of the month. The news source notes that it is upper management’s role on these days to work for their employees by getting them talking and participating in group dialogues or activities with several key points in mind: sharing appropriate information about company and individual money matters, acknowledging and encouraging employees who have made major impacts within the company, and bringing the staff together in organization-wide accomplishments.
Employers should be wary not to follow character Michael Scott’s example from NBC program The Office’s “Dundies” episode, in which he insults and offends almost every person he aims to praise. Awards should be given in good taste, with fairness towards others and legitimate reason, says Inc. Prevost’s favorite award for her office’s day of fun is given to an employee who has turned around a bad situation within the month.
While in reality it can be difficult to truly offend workers with good intentions, Prevention points out that a business owner’s positive thoughts should be shared perhaps more regularly than one may think necessary. Author Kjerulf believes a major factor in good management is a vocally positive start to each day in the office. Whatever business owners and managers choose is up to them as long as it reflects a feeling of sincere optimism and happiness to begin the day, he says.