Joyful workplaces are buzzing with people bursting with energy, vitality and enthusiasm. They love what they do and feel they are important at work -- and that they do important work.
Here are five ways to make your your workplace a fun place to be!
1. Give others permission to be joyful
Our first step to creating a joy spot at work is to give others permission to have fun! Fear of humiliation -- or F.O.W.O.T, fear of what others think -- often stops people doing things that make work fun. If the leader does fun things it gives everyone else permission to do the same. If the leader (parent or teacher) is serious and "professional" all the time, no one else feels safe to laugh or create opportunities to be joyful! I believe it's possible to be extremely professional and have fun and be joyful at the same time. I think it's one of the secrets of my success in each career I have had. Your mindset matters! Focus on creating and modeling joy today! Watch how others will follow you -- once they know you are sincere.
2. Have Happiness Reviews
My husband Ken Wright is an amazing leader -- a people whisperer! One of the secrets of his great leadership success was to have happiness reviews as well as performance reviews. He would meet with people and find out what was making them happy at work -- or not -- and work with them to address the issues that emerged. This only took 30 minutes a month but reaped rewards far our of proportion to the time spent. Meet with everyone on your team -- or in your family or in your class -- and let them know these will be a regular occurrence. It teaches people all sorts of adult skills to have meetings like these and to openly and safely discuss what is making them happy -- or not. The main focus is on the joyful aspect.
3. Change the way you conduct staff meetings.
The group dynamics of your staff meetings is critical and yet something most people rarely think about. Most people are rushed, stressed and don't have time for "more meetings." Begin yours differently. Let everyone know that from now on, all meetings will begin with everyone answering the question, "What's the best thing that happened to you since we last met?" This is to be a ritual. You begin every meeting with this. That way, people will be thinking of all the good things that have happened to them as they are walking to the meeting so they are in a good physiological state when they enter the room. Before you judge this and become a victim of F.O.W.O.T., try it. It makes an incredible difference. The whole quality of your meetings will change. If you are a parent -- ask your kids every night, "What's the best thing that happened to you today?" and you will be teaching them optimism.
4. Create a culture of TA DA!
Everything in life is about feelings. Everything. How you feel about your boss, your job, yourself, your colleagues, your company, your purpose and the value of your job can critical for performance. I believe the number one thing that people want in life is recognition and acknowledgement. They want to feel special. Make people feel special -- whether you are a leader, in sales, a parent, or just a human being! I find it is the number one quality for success -- the ability to make everyone you meet feel special -- authentically! When toddlers do a "TA DA" -- adults clap and cheer and make a big fuss. Toddlers are very smart. They acknowledge their achievements all the time -- until about age 8 when it becomes uncool to do TA DA! But adults are really teenagers in grown up bodies and we keep doing silent TA DAs for the rest of our lives. We become disappointed when we don't get the acknowledgement or recognition. Not seeing peoples silent TA DAs is the single greatest way to demotivate them. This applies to work and home and to everyone -- no matter what age. You must look for people's silent TA DAs. Encourage others to see the TA DAs. Have a monthly TA DA competition. Each month people nominate a person who deserves the TA DA award -- it doesn't matter how small the gift or award -- it's the recognition that makes them feel special
5. Let it Go!
Marianne Williamson said: "Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die" Much of the politics and communication challenges at work come from people holding grudges or resenting something that was done in the past. There is nothing we can do to change the past -- but in the present you can choose to let the "stuff" go. You can choose to have an adult conversation about what has happened and try to resolve your differences. Forgiveness is something we all need to do on a daily basis -- people are always unconsciously offending us or triggering fears in us -- but it's all our stuff! They are just the messengers of new areas of self development we need to focus on. Be grateful -- put your gratitude glasses on -- whenever there is a "difficult person" or situation -- they are showing you where you need to grow and how you need to practice being calm, natural and relaxed more often. Let it go! All the stuff you are hanging onto can make you sick. In Molecules of Emotion, a great book by Candace Pert, this scientist tells us that hanging onto stuff from the past creates disease in the future. Make it a mantra for Tuesdays!! Let go and forgive!
Your turn. What do you do at work that makes it a fun place to be?
By Amanda Gore
References for infographic
- Gallup -- Q12 Meta Analysis
- HayGroup -- Engaged Performance
- HBR -- Creating Sustainable Performance
- Gallup -- Engaged Employees
- Wall Street Journal -- Ways to be Happier and More Productive at Work (iOpener Institute)
Amanda Gore (www.amandagore.com) is an author, award-winning motivational speaker and joy facilitator! Her philosophy is that Joy is an Inside Job. Finding joy is the secret to more productive, creative, successful and happy humans -- at work and home. Amanda is also the director of The Joy Project. To book Amanda for your event click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with Amanda on Facebook - Amanda Gore - Speaker page and The Joy Project page