“There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.” —Henry Ford
By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM
We all know the Christmas carol “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. In this carol we sing about tiding of comfort and joy, but why do we only think about comfort and joy during the holiday season? Wouldn’t it be great to go to work every day for an organization that had created a culture of comfort and joy? Why not create a work environment where every employee knows that they are accomplishing something meaningful, where they look forward to making a valuable contribution, and where they know they are appreciated and celebrated? Employees want to work for an organization where they feel they belong, where they are valued, where they have control over their own work, and where they have leaders who they actually look to for a good example. Why not create a culture of comfort and joy?
Create something people can believe in
One of the great things about the holiday season is that we are reminded that there is something to believe in; this brings us both comfort and joy. Your employees need something to believe in all year. What does your organization offer that is of value to the world? Is it something that your employees can buy into? Can they feel good about themselves, the organization, and the cause?
Give their work meaning
Once they have something to believe in, employees need to find meaning in their own work tasks. They need to see how what they do personally contributes to the big picture. Everyone has something important to offer or you would not have them as an employee. Let them know that their work is both important and appreciated. Develop a culture of comfort and joy where employees can leave work at the end of the day knowing that their work was meaningful.
Develop a sense of community
Everyone wants a sense of connection, to feel that they belong. Create a culture of comfort and joy by developing a sense of community in your organization. Help employees to connect with one another, to find commonalities, and to appreciate the differences. Show them that every one of them belongs, that they are a part of a team, an organization, a greater purpose.
Set the example
Employees will model their behaviors after you. They will develop their attitudes based on your words and actions. So, you must set the example of the culture you are creating. Watch your actions and listen to your words; do they reinforce, or do they undermine, a culture of comfort and joy?
Give them control
If you want engaged, happy employees, you must help them to feel more competent, powerful, and in control of their own work. Employees want to be challenged, not babysat. They want to know they are trusted to make decisions and take action related to their own tasks. To continue to support a culture of comfort and joy, give employees the training and resources they need, and then give them control over their own work.
Keep it Going all Year Long
What if you could keep the optimism of the holiday season going all year long in your organization? By giving employees something to believe in; giving their work meaning; developing a sense of community; setting the example; and giving them control, you can create a culture of comfort and joy. By providing your employees with the respect, autonomy, and social support they need, you can keep a positive atmosphere all year long.
© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli
Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.
Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.