You have probably heard the saying, “happy staff, happy clients” and I do believe that - the mood of a workplace is contagious. This week I was at the airport and I heard a staff member that was working in the airport café say to her colleague “I wish everyone had come to work in a better mood, it’s starting to rub off on more and more people”. True – you may have felt this yourself at work before. So what do we do
- Be in the present. We have a tendency in life to often get into a mindset of longing. If we had this piece of equipment, work would be easier, if we had a custom built therapy area, work would be easier, if I only worked two days a week, I would be happier…. You get the idea. When we do this, we become aware of a conscious gap between what we have and what we want and often it is hard to move on positively until the gap is filled. Spend some time with your staff each week (or day), focussing on what is good about what you have at the moment.
- Finish things. Over and over we hear things like “Just start” and encouragement to begin lots of wonderful projects. This is great, we do need to start – and we often need encouragement to do so (because we like to tell ourselves as humans that we will start next week, start when we have more time when we are more ready….. etc)… but more so we actually also have to finish. Finishing things gives a sense of accomplishment, and as a team, gives a great sense of achievement. Seeing the end product of something you have worked on gives you pride, relief, and you can relax your thoughts around that, knowing you got it finished. Often in practice, we get busy – and whilst we have good intentions to work on producing handouts, flyers, a new powerpoint, a new procedure or way of doing things… but we get so busy we don’t finish them well. Ensure you are putting as much time into finishing things as you are starting them. Report back to your team on the things you have finished and the outcome. And ensure you always set realistic goals – start with one thing, finish it, and then move onto the next.
- Add some little surprises along the way. These can be as little as new coffee pod varieties, or a bowl of fresh fruit to share, or they can be more substantial like a Christmas countdown advent calendar with great surprises each day. Surprises are designed to break the routine, generate a smile, create a story or moment, and lift someone. Something as easy as shouting everyone a yummy Thai lunch, or organising the delivery of a single flower to everyone, or a t-shirt to mark an occasion. There are lots of ideas I am sure you can think of to bring a little surprise to your workplace.
Here’s to being happy at work.