Saturday, February 22, 2014

Room for Joy

In this dog eat dog, competitive world we're in, some businesses frown on joy in the workplace. Having fun at work is believed by some to actually infringe on productivity and that it negatively affects the bottom line.

I understand that every business owner, manager, or supervisor would want to see every employee showing up at their best. . .giving their all for the company that employs them. For some reason, there seems to be a collapsing of the concepts of joy and fun engagement with a lack of serious commitment and a strong work ethic, as if they cannot co-exist.

Perhaps it is because I believe the world would be a better place if there was more joyful souls, or because I have worked on teams that were fun loving and have worked with those that were serious and cut-throat in their interactions. Without a doubt, the teams that held a high value around team spirit and joyful engagement, not only had more enjoyable work environments, they were more efficient and productive in their work.

Other positive side effects include greater camaraderie where employees sincerely care about their co-workers and seek to help one another when things get tough, rather than be in competition.  Employee turnover and sick days are less since the work environment that promotes joyful interactions is a more pleasant place to be. Why would people want to leave a pleasant and connected environment and team?

Seeing employees as more than simply machines that punch clocks, do their jobs and have no heart to heart connection with their co-workers is a win-win at every level. People are emotional beings, they are not machines. Working in an environment where there is room for joy, for compassion, for fun, understanding and sincere connection is beyond a doubt, a healthier environment that one without.

Imagine if there was room for JOY in every group, on every team, in every home, and in every business. My bet is that problems would be solved more quickly, people would be more collaborative, communicative and cooperation would be the norm. That combination would not only be a successful one for making money for the business, it would be paving a positive track for others to follow.