JJ's (July 2014) Tips in this issue:
1. Finding Joy in Your Work and Life?
Use the following tips as training tools.
Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.
Have you ever said, “I find a lot of joy in my work?” If not, how can you find or create joy where you work?
Joy may be a word you never use, but this is not the case for Richard Sheridan who wrote Joy, Inc. How We Built a Workplace People Love.
In a recent Crucial Skills newsletter written by Kerry Patterson, the subject was improving morale and finding joy in the workplace. The article referenced the Joy book.
He wrote, "In his recent release of Joy, Inc., Rich Sheridan dares to take on the challenge of making the workplace not merely satisfying, but joyful. After years of working in settings that should have been satisfying, fulfilling, and even exhilarating but were actually stressful and depressing, Rich set out on a mission to find what it takes to create joy at work. It turns out, it requires a host of elements—many tied to the physical environment as well as how work is actually completed. If you want to see how one determined leader turned a stressful workplace into one that is both joyful and triumphant, check out Joy, Inc.”
I did and here’s what I found.
Sheridan deliberately created a culture that is different. All of their projects have two people paired up to work together and these pairings have proven to increase their innovation and customer satisfaction. They also have an open-space environment where everyone works in one room and not in cubicles, including Sheridan. They also don’t waste time on meetings because anyone in the room can call a short or long meeting at will by saying, "Hey, Menlo,” and everyone answers back, "Hey, Rich" or the name of the person who called it. Nobody moves until the impromptu meeting is over. They thank them and the team gets back to business.
Thousands of people tour the Menlo Innovations custom software design firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan to see where people love their work and find joy in it. In an interview originally published on Open and posted on Innovation Excellence website, here are excerpts from it on the subject of joy in the workplace.
Sheridan said, "We have a minimum of one group per day touring our office, so I tried it on an unsuspecting tour group. “Welcome to Menlo. You have come to a place that has intentionally focused its culture on the business value of joy.” They asked me why I was talking about joy. I pointed back to my team and asked our visitors what they thought would happen if half my team had joy and the other half didn’t. Which half would they want me to assign to their project? They all wanted the joyful half. I then asked them why they would care and what difference joy would make. Their answers gave me all the data I needed:
“They’d be more productive.” “They’d be easier to work with.” “They’d produce higher quality.” “They’d care more about the results.” “They’d be more engaged.”
It became quite clear to me that everyone understands that there is, in fact, tangible business value to joy.
How do you know whether you’ve been successful in creating a culture of joy? In other words, what’s the real-world measure of joy?
Anecdotally, one measure of joy is through the stories we collect. People tell us how much better their lives are now because of the software we have designed and developed."
What’s the one thing you want readers to take away from this book?
That you can achieve joy in business. We all want joy in our work lives, in our downtime, in our kids’ schools, in our faith communities, in our families and in our nation. Humans are wired to work on things bigger than themselves, to be in community with one another. It’s why we join teams and companies, and work very hard and long to achieve a difficult and elusive shared goal. I hope to inspire others to pursue joy in their work lives."
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According to surveys, as many as two-thirds of employees polled across the country don’t like their jobs. As Patterson said in his newsletter about increasing morale and joy, start where your pain is. You can influence change for the better! Talk to co-workers and start making mutually beneficial plans. Have the courage to make suggestions, listen to others on the team and expect accountability.
Patterson also added, "Decide what you want to achieve and then measure those aspirations frequently and carefully. Dare you ask if people can't wait to come to work each day? Would you ever poll employees by asking if they think about their job during their commute, or brag to their friends about the cool place they work? Set your goals high. Aspire to create a workplace where people routinely experience deep satisfaction, happiness, pride, meaning—and yes, even joy."
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EVALUATION OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Have you had an Evaluation of Your Environment lately so you could receive suggestions on improving it? (It's like the doctor's check up, you often don't know you need it, until after you've had it.)
JJ Lauderbaugh, CMC
JJ works with companies that want to give exceptional customer service to increase sales,
and with Directors and Call Center/Help Desk Managers who want to improve human
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