“Powered by Happy” is a book written by Beth Thomas, where she talks about how to get happy and stay happy at work. And how can managers create a happy environment to boost performance and increase success.
Beth Thomas is currently a Managing Director and Executive Vice President of Sequent Consulting, a firm that provides training and HR services to the corporate sector, this book feeds from every day techniques implemented during her client sessions. Prior to her years with Sequent Consulting, she served as the Senior Vice President of Retail Training at JPMorgan Chase, were she was responsible for the learning and development of nearly 40,000 employees.
Beth and Sourcebooks were generous enough to provide me with two free copies of the book to distribute on my interested readers. If you are interested in receiving a free copy of the book send me your name and shipping address by email and I’ll conduct a draw and send a copy to two lucky winners….(Monday 12-04-2010 I will announce the winners)
I conducted an interview with Beth to get an insight on some of the ideas she mentioned in her book, below are the details of the interview:
- Make sure you are doing what you love, what you are passionate about(if you aren’t make a change or volunteer for the work you are passionate about) , this helps you truly be successful
- Hang with a gang that gets it – Make sure you are hanging with colleagues that you want to emulate or are looked up to in the organization. Steal shamelessly their tips to success!
- Build relationships with your colleagues – help each other and they will help you!
- Find a Mentor – one who has tenure with your company so they can help you navigate through the political landscape of the company. Nothing can make you more “unhappy” than to be caught in a political landmine!
2. What if an employee hates his boss and this is making him barely able to wake up and go to work every day? Can the employee himself do something to make things better and to enjoy his job?
- Ohhh this is a popular question, because 80% of people actually leave their boss and NOT their company. Here are a few tips:
- First Look in the mirror, do a self check. How is YOUR attitude, work habits and performance? Make sure YOU truly aren’t the problem.
- Find people who have worked successfully with your boss and obtain their “secrets to success”
- Confirm with your boss his expectations of you and try to exceed them. For example say “If you were to tell me in 6 months I have done a fabulous job, what would I have accomplished”
- When all else fails, sometimes the answer is to leave. Having a good relationship with your boss can not only make or break your day, but your career as well!
3. Can you give some tips to managers on how to create a happy place around the office?
- Create a SWAT team at work where their mission is to plan activities that give employees something to be happy about or look forward to; for example, Tuesday snack days, Thursday happy hour, Friday pot luck.
- Create a Peer to Peer recognition program, everyone wants to feel successful and feel like they are adding value, this makes them “happy”! So, give kudos to colleagues for a job well done!
- Celebrate your wins and successes!
- Don’t be afraid to laugh, work doesn’t have to be a bad place to go! Create a culture where it is OK to laugh, tell stories, tell jokes, help bring other’s attitude’s up
- Lastly, if you find you have a member of your team that is bringing everyone down, get them out! One of the biggest reason people have happy cultures is that leaders get rid of the bad eggs!
4. What if a certain manager is making the lives of his employees miserable every day, what can you tell him to convince him that he is negatively affecting productivity and efficiency around the office?
- It’s always hard to “coach up”. Make sure whenever you do this, that you are prepared with your key messages so you stay on point.
- Be prepared to showcase specific examples where his attitude is affecting the work. Try to keep it focused on the lack of productivity, possible turn over, and results of the team.
- Make sure you make him feel like you are trying to help him not sabotage him!
5. I understand that you have some practical techniques to help companies teach their employees how to find happiness; can you give us a glimpse on some of those
- Show you care – employees want to be loyal, but expect it back. Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, birth of a child.
- Make sure your associates understand what success looks like for them – set clear goals and objectives. Make sure they have a line of sight to the vision of your company!
- Develop your people – people are successful when they are doing what they love and what they are best suited for. So, manage your workforce and figure out what the best job for each of your associates!
6. In just a few words how can you make company owners, CEOs and managers realize the importance of employee satisfaction?
- 90% of productivity comes from 20% of your engaged associates.
- Companies around the US have lost 300 billion (yes, billion) with disengaged associates, mostly from turn over, loss of productivity.
- A leader should be spending 70% of their time with employee development, whether it is recruiting or retention or employee engagement
- These are all facts that validate “Happy associates are productive associates” This is an epidemic. SMART leaders everywhere are finally realizing how engaging their employee pays off BIG for them and their bottom line!