There’s no levity

By Donna Marshall via cobizmag.com   Article

Tips for a happy workplace

“A five-year study of 3,000 people conducted by the Oxford-based iOpener Institute found that happy employees do the equivalent of an extra day’s work every week and take 66 percent less sick time than their least happy colleagues.  Marcia Kent, an organizational psychology specialist and president of Denver-based BizPsych … says she can tell immediately if an environment has a happy vibe.

‘The people are smiling, they are laughing and they are exchanging information. Their posture is open and relaxed.’ … In workplaces where happiness is lacking, Kent says, “There’s no levity, people don’t give each other attention and mainly it’s just the leaders that speak.” …

Here are a few of her tips to foster a happy environment:

  • Be open with praise. When a BizPsych employee goes above and beyond or earns positive feedback from a client, that strong performance is shared with everyone through emails and other communications. That, in turn, becomes a social contagion. Recognizing contributions publicly helps build momentum.
  • Change the mindset. Instead of viewing a group of employees laughing and talking as a negative, think about how those water cooler conversations encourage collaboration. Reconsider what success at your firm means if it translates into working 60 hour weeks and getting by on four hours of sleep. …
  • Contribute to the larger community. Offer employees opportunities to do volunteer work. Companies that reward people with time to pursue charitable work will see improved satisfaction levels because these contributions create the opportunity for employees to feel better. These don’t have to be expensive or big endeavors. Even small project can turn into big wins.
  • Encourage movement. Getting up and moving – even for 15 minutes a day – creates helps to create a healthy habit. It gets the endorphins going and creates a sense of well-being.”
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