Research into that elusive beast known as happiness suggests that the frequency of positive events happening throughout the day is more important than the intensity of a positive experience. So better, those happy researchers say, to have 15 small happy events spread out throughout the day, rather than just one big happy event. In the workplace, researchers have found that work happiness is far more dependent on the routine moment-to-moment interactions than on more stable long term conditions (such as salary or job title). In other words, happiness is often delivered in small packages.
In related news. . . since May is International Civility Awareness Month, it’s worth noting that a study by the Thunderbird School of Global Management found that 50% of employees who experience an uncivil act at work deliberately decrease their efforts, with more than a third reducing the quality of their work.
So why not use civility month to improve the level of civility and happiness in your workplace by remembering that each time you interact with someone, even if it’s just passing them in the hallway, you have the chance to pass a little positivity their way or, conversely, suck a bit of their soul out of them. As I constantly hear from thousands of employees around the globe, it really is often the smallest of gestures that matter. . .
A smile. Eye contact. Taking the time to say, “Hey, what’s shaking?” (or however you say hello). Thanking people sincerely. Offering them a chocolate (the fastest way to get your coworkers to act more civil). Saying “Please,” “Thank-you” and “Has anyone ever told you that you smell marvelous?”
Treat your colleagues with genuine warmth, compassion, enthusiasm and good humor, treat your colleagues the way you want to be treated, treat your colleagues like they are your most important customer in the world, and watch how not only your entire workplace changes, but how much happier you feel in return.
Michael Kerr. Michael is an international business speaker and highly in-demand funny motivational speaker. His next book, The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses are Laughing all the Way to the Bank, is due out in the fall of 2014. For great ideas on building a spectacularly awesome workplace culutre, sign up for his weekly e-zine, Inspiring Workplaces – Humor at Work.
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