Drains and Radiators – Happiness at work
Several years ago I read a book called How to be Brilliant by Michael Heppel, it was fantastic. I was working on quite a big customer service change project at the time and it totally changed my view on what we needed to do. Well not totally changed my view but we did take on board a lot of the learning from the book, we designed a “brilliant” change programme from this and went out to be really successful with what we were trying to achieve.
This week I was working with a group of new sales people and we were discussing the difference between being a good sales person and being an outstanding sales person. Everyone has a different idea what an outstanding sales person is and does. And every organisation identifies what good looks like in a totally different way to every other organisation. What is brilliant in one place might not be that good in another. However, we did talk about how organisations that do something different for their current customers and their future customers are the ones that grow the business and build a loyal customer base.
Any business that wants to succeed and grow a loyal customer base needs to meet customer needs every time and aim to exceed them as much as possible. You need to make it easy for customers to do business with you and keep them wanting for more. The best and most successful way to have a business that customers rave about and keep coming back for more is to have a happy and healthy workforce that people want to be part of. Engagement is key to success in any organisation, be it a small business or a global corporation. Happiness is the key to Engagement.
Years of research shows that happiness in the workplace is seriously good for you, your workers and the growth of your business. Happy workers are committed, not only to their job but to be part of the bigger picture and will drive sales and service across your organisation. Happy workers are around 43% more productive, unhappy workers can cost a business thousands in lost productivity and even more in sickness.
Some of the research over the last decade shows that happiness can raise nearly every key business indicator
- 33% Higher profitability (Gallup)
- 43% more productivity (Hay Group)
- 37% Higher Sales (Shawn Achor)
- 300% more innovation (HBR)
However, Delivering Happiness at Work say that around 72% of people in the general workforce are unhappy. This has got to be bad, no wonder the economy is at such a low if everyone is unhappy and not doing all of the wonderful things your business needs to do to thrive.
Unhappiness is a drain on any organisation. Unhappiness dull’s the atmosphere and creates a negative vibe in any workplace. unhappy people have low productivity and do not think creatively to enable your business to grow and innovate. Unhappy people generally have a lot of sickness and and dampen the spirits of everyone around them. Customer don;t want to speak with unhappy people who are not engaged with your business and before long they will be looking for someone else. Another problem of unhappy people is they don’t communicate well. Customers that are not in regular contact, regular positive contact often look else where without you even knowing about it.
Everyone has different levels of happiness, and happiness is measured in the hear and now. It is about our pleasant emotional state in the present moment. Happiness is good for you. It helps you feel well and can influence your physical health. Happiness is contagious, customers and colleagues prefer to talk to cheerful people. A positive atmosphere can will help lift the spirits of everyone around and will improve overall functioning and performance. These people are the Radiators of your business. They take everyone with them and make people want to be part of the business. Customer flock to them as they pay special attention to making life easier and happier for the customer.
The Radiators are great for business and the Drains are not. Drains will find it hard, over time, to effect those brilliant Radiators. Encourage everyone to be a radiator. Look at what the root cause of the Drains unhappiness is and set a course of action to change it.
So maybe it is about time we started taking happiness seriously. Taking a look at your business and asking yourself who are my Drains and Radiators, who will make this business a success and who do I need to work with to lift them and create the Happiness Effect.