How to establish joy at work

How to establish joy at work? Are you aware of your workplace culture? Are you a good listener? Do you know how your employees feel in the workplace and what excite them? How happy you think your employees are? Which are the companies with the happiest employees?

As a manager or CEO, you know that people spend most of their time in the office, therefore the office and colleagues become like a home and family, but how are companies establishing joy at work? Which connections are bosses establishing with employees?

In this blog, you will read and reflect on how important joy is at work, which actions and leadership styles you are establishing within your teams and which kind of leader you are. Also, discover why companies like T-Mobile, Netflix, and HubSpot are top companies with the happiest employees.



Joy vs Happiness. What is the difference?

The official Google definition of happiness is defined as “the state of being happy”. People have taught us that happiness is everything. It’s what makes us happy and about loving your life and other lives. If you are happy in life you will be able to work better or vice versa. But happiness is more than job satisfaction!

The official Google definition of joy is defined as “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness”. Joy is a compilation of good feelings like achievements, happiness, hard work and even bad feelings like sarcastic, angry, or sad. All these mixed feelings make you work hard to achieve joy.

Do you understand the difference? Totally different right?

How do you connect with your employees?

Connecting with employees is the kindest action that a boss can do. Connecting with your employees will make them open their boundaries to see you as a human, not as a boss. Therefore, communication and trust will make your employees develop motivation, creativity, innovation, and joy!

We all had and remember that mean boss who taught us how we shouldn’t behave with employees, or what kind of leader we don’t want to become in. On the other hand, there is that other kind of boss who is always asking you how’s it going? What you’re working on, are you almost done?

Do you remember how you felt when you were asked these kinds of questions? The employee automatically feels pressure and artificial fear, but according to Richard Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations and author of the book Joy, Inc, this is what motivates people. But when we get into that fearful place, we go into fight or flight mode and it shuts down the part of our brain that we really need inside of our organization.

Richard Sheridan with his book Joy, Inc. at Menlo Innovations
Richard Sheridan with his book Joy, Inc. Source: Doug Coombe

In an interview that Richard Sheridan gave to the Harvard Business Review, he mentioned that one element of leadership and management is that we have to create an environment where those kinds of innovations that are going to thrill others can flourish. We need a different leadership style with our people, different ways of leading teams, and different processes around them that don’t feel heavy and bureaucratic, but lightweight and energizing. If you want to listen or read the full interview click here.


Which kind of leader do you think you are?

A leader should be in charge of creating a space where employees feel welcome and comfortable to do their best work. They should always be focused on the “us” and not on the “I”. A boss who speaks “us”, speaks from the team’s view.
Every company has different focuses, but all of them need a leader. There are different kinds of leadership, for example, servant, transactional, transformational, among others.

A servant leader is a person who prefers power-sharing models of authority, prioritizing the needs of their team and encouraging collective decision-making.

A transactional leader is focused on group organization, establishing a clear chain of command and implementing a carrot-and-stick approach to management activities, while a transformational one inspires staff through effective communication. They normally tend to create an environment of intellectual stimulation.



What type of leadership describes you better?

How to establish joy at work?

As mentioned before, people spend most of their time in the office. It is very important to establish joy at work as people will feel more engaged and will make them more productive.

Joy at work should be a philosophy at the office. All team members should follow since day one that they become part of the team, the following ways to establish joy. As a leader or boss, you will start implementing them and then your employees will follow your attitude.

First, start with a simple smile. When you smile at someone, automatically that person smiles you back. It is amazing how it works! Show your employees that you care about them. By being emphatic, asking simple questions, or giving some complements, employees can feel the joy of working for that leader. For example, “Hey Mark, I like very much your new sneakers!”, in this way, Mark recognized that his boss noticed that he has new sneakers, that he like them and that he is important for his boss. Also, phrases like “Because I care about you, you should …” or “Someone wants to come with me to wrap a coffee?” brake the ice within your employees and generate trust and confidence.

Other activities are:

Organize activities: Organizing extra activities, indoor and outdoor like playing games, go to the karaoke, organizing matches, exercising or playing board games will generate laughs, reduces stress, and make your team learn more one from another.

Promote safety: Before employees can experience joy, they need to feel safe and comfortable. As a leader, you need to promote a healthy environment. This means to not conciliate bullying behavior. Promote an “if you see something, say something” philosophy.

Working hours flexibility: Allow your employees to organize their working hours on the way they can be more productive. Respect their schedule, for example, while they are on holiday or sick, respect their privacy and don’t bother them unless it’s something really urgent. Allow them to disconnect themselves from nonworking hours.

Redefine work: Doing the job you like generates joy. Allow your employees to work on special projects or in the tasks that they really enjoy working. Promote a philosophy where your employees feel free to ask extra help or a free will to say that they are struggling with a task. this will make them feel better and linebacker from the boss.

Inspire your people: Create an environment where people can express themselves and then foster connections between folks who share interests and passions.

If you generate this kind of environment and philosophy at your workplace, I assure you will feel a different vibe. The magic between your employees will happen. Of course, there will always be challenges, but a good leader will find a way to establish joy at work!

I hope you like this blog and if you have some other ways to establish joy at your workplace, share them with us! We would like to hear from you! You can contact us here 

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