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Happiness at work pays off

It’s no surprise that most of us would prefer to be part of a happy workplace, than an unhappy one. Our team value of “enjoyment” is one of the things I love most about being part of the BMO team. But did you know that a happy workplace is also a more productive one?

So how do you create a happy workplace? Here’s a few courtesy tips I picked up at a recent seminar with guest speaker “Dr Happy” (Tim Sharp) from the Happiness Institute.

Optimists make better leaders. Set BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) but keep your eye on the reality of the day. Optimism is about looking forward. The best optimists also know how to aim high without ignoring day-to-day issues.

We often spend too many resources managing our worst performers. An effective management tool is to reinforce the best qualities of the best people. It doesn’t mean you ignore those who are underperforming – but rather adopt a strength-based approach.

Appreciate what you have. When you are faced with a stressful event, put it in perspective. For example, if your computer program shuts down, stop and think about how many people in the world will die today because they are hungry. About 22,000. All of a sudden having to restart your computer doesn’t seem quite so dire.

Dr Happy says resilience is one of the most important traits to encourage and develop. This means shifting away from the “self-esteem” movement where “everyone got a ribbon”. Instead we need to encourage our team members not to be afraid to fail. As Alfred Lord Tennyson said “It’s better to have tried and failed than to live life wondering what would’ve happened if I had tried”.

Shine the light on what’s right. Celebrate. It doesn’t cost you anything to say thank you, and it could actually improve your business’ bottom line.

Try sprinkling a little more happy dust around your workplaces. Start with a smile and thank you. You might be surprised by the results!

By Megan James, BMO Communications Manager

Sam Fermor_Cate Turner MT

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