There is no other factor more detrimental to company happiness than a lack of positivity. As a company grows and tries to find its identity, there will be some missteps and hiccups along the road. Mistakes will be made and brief periods of unhappiness will need to be smoothed over.
However, the up and down reality of a start-up business, or a company in any other type of transition, cannot be used as an excuse for becoming negative. Things don’t always work out, because the business world is a challenging and competitive place, but things not going to plan cannot be allowed to drag a company into negativity. Approaching things from a standpoint of trying to avoid failure does not create a good landscape in which to build happiness. This is why you need supportive managers, collaboration between departments, and socializing among employees, all tied together with an underlying sensation that everything will work out in the long run.
As a business leader, you should train your managers to sniff out negative thinking and correct it; workers that beat themselves up about mistakes or spread chronic stress to other employees should be spoken to and asked what would help them to adjust their attitudes accordingly. Being a happy company comes down to more than just the perks; it is about setting the stage for happiness to occur. While you are setting this stage, however, it is important not to compromise what made your company great in the first place. You need to remain true to your original goals.
Those company-specific ambitions are why every structure and plan for happiness is different. You can’t mimic some other company to the front of their bonus checks and then expect your skin as a company to still fit. Your employees have chosen to work in your company for a reason; attempts at promoting a happier workplace should accentuate the positives that attracted these workers in the first place. You want to become better and happier whilst remaining within the same industry and retaining the same professional mindset, not come out the other side of the happiness process looking like a completely different company. Businesses develop identities, just like people, and trying to be something you’re not is just as disingenuous for a company as it is for a person.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, in the pursuit of happiness it might be necessary to forget about profit margins, gain, and loss for a moment. Changing your company culture isn’t necessarily going to be free, although plenty of the tactics involved in creating a positive, supportive environment don’t cost a penny. Some of the other techniques might decrease productivity for a short time, lower the amount of hours worked, or even take workers out of the office more. As an employer, you need to broaden your gaze and think about the success of your company over the long-term. Making people happy isn’t always easy, but it is essential, and without making an effort to do so, you will likely lose your business or lose your talented employees to someone else more willing to create a happy company.
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