Workplace of Hope and Happiness

Have you read the headlines lately? Not only are they sad, but they’re often disturbing, frustrating, horrifying and sometimes unfathomable. It’s tough to read the headlines themselves; never mind the details of each story.

The negativity is crazy!!! Heck, poor Gabby Douglas couldn’t even celebrate her Olympic gold medal without spending time defending what her hair looks like. When did it become okay not to celebrate her and her hard work and instead focus on something so opinionated and shallow?

And guess what…the Presidential election campaigning is just getting into full-swing, now that Romney has picked his running mate. Several news agencies are already calling both parties out on having the most negative campaigns in history.

With all the violence, hatred, and “spewing” that seems to be taking the forefront of media and public attention, people are in need of positivity and hope more than ever.

Given that employees are at their workplace five days a week, for likely more than forty hours, wouldn’t it be awesome if it were a place they could come to escape the negativity? Even better, what if their workplace gave them hope? Can you imagine what that might do for people and productivity?

Leaders today should focus on the well-being of their people, their culture, and their workplace environment. Building in more positivity and hope will be worth the effort, as it will help with engagement, loyalty, effectiveness, and efficiency.

How can you do it? Here are 5 strategies that may help:

1. Get clear on purpose and vision, and engage everyone in it. Make sure everyone knows the benefits (not features) of where you’re headed as an organization. Equally, make sure they know how important and connected their particular efforts are to the effort overall.

2. Celebrate milestones along the way. People (all people, every. single. one) enjoy being acknowledged, appreciated, and celebrated. It’s motivating, encouraging, and rewarding. It fuels future performance as well. When goals are met, celebrate the progress and the people who made it happen.

3. Communicate with integrity. Share information – as much as you can. Keep people informed with reality and truthfulness. People feel part of the team when they’re kept in the loop. Only when they’re kept in the dark can they let their minds wander to the worst possible scenarios about you and about the organization.

4. Show you care. Yes, I know it’s a workplace and people are there to do jobs, but guess what? It’s people that are there to do jobs. People need to know you care about them. Be connected, personal, likeable and genuine. Find common ground and seek to understand what their needs are and what they think is most important.

5. Serve. Serve. Serve. And serve some more. Create a culture of service to one another and to your customers. Give people latitude and flexibility to accomplish their service in the best way they see fit. Make examples of “above and beyond” service, and incentivize people to think of and help others. Lead by example here, and make serving your people your number one priority.

Is there something else you would add to the list? If people were happier and more hopeful, do you think it would make a difference? What impact could you see happen?

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