Being Happy at Work Matters by Annie McKee

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To be fully engaged and happy, virtually everyone tells us they want three things:

1. A meaningful vision of the future: When people talked with our research team about what was working or not in their organizations, and what helped or hindered them the most, they talked about vision. People want to be able to see the future and know how they fit in.

And, as we know from our work with Richard Boyatzis on intentional change, people learn and change when they have a personal vision that is linked to an organizational vision. Sadly, far too many leaders don’t paint a very compelling vision of the future, they don’t try to link it to people’s personal visions, and they don’t communicate well. And they lose people as a result.

2. A sense of purpose: People want to feel as if their work matters, and that their contributions help to achieve something really important. And except for those at the tippy top, shareholder value isn’t a meaningful goal that excites and engages them. They want to know that they — and their organizations — are doing something big that matters to other people.

3. Great relationships: We know that peoplejoin an organization and leave a boss. A dissonant relationship with one’s boss is downright painful. So too are bad relationships with colleagues. Leaders, managers, and employees have all told us that close, trusting and supportive relationships are hugely important to their state of mind — and their willingness contribute to a team.

Added up, brain science and our organizational research are in fact debunking the old myths: emotions matter a lot at work. Happiness is important. To be fully engaged, people need vision, meaning, purpose, and resonant relationships.

Read the rest here:  https://hbr.org/2014/11/being-happy-at-work-matters

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10 Things Really Amazing Employees Do

by Kevin Daum

As a longtime employer of dozens, I was always grateful to have good employees. It takes a lot to recruit and maintain top talent. Every once in a while special employees come along that just really seem to get it. They drive the entire company forward in ways that were unimaginable. Advancement and reward is never an issue for these rock stars because they understand the power of cause and effect, and only a worthy company can retain them and afford them.

Here are 10 things amazing employees seem to do effortlessly. Here’s how to help your great employees be even more amazing.

1. Enthusiastically Learn All Aspects of Business

They understand they’re part of something bigger and more worthwhile than just their job. They look to learn other areas of the business and be fluent in finance and management so they’ll positively impact multiple areas of the company.

What you can do: Invest in material and seminars on business basics like accounting, marketing, and management so all employees have easy access to learn and grow.

2. Steward the Company

They treat the company as if it were theirs. They look to make prudent decisions about expenses and opportunities with the long-term future of the company in mind. They easily assess risk vs. reward, selflessly when making decisions.

What you can do: Be transparent in your business. The more you share your financials and philosophy, the easier it is for employees to make the right decisions.

3. Generate Viable Opportunities

You don’t have to be in sales or marketing to help a company grow. Strong networkers from all divisions see company growth as a collective effort and constantly keep their eyes open for ways to more than pay for themselves.

What you can do: Make sure all your employees understand your value proposition and can easily identify opportunities. Then reward them openly for their efforts.

4. Resolve Issues Before They Are Issues

My favorite days running companies are when I notice positive change in procedure when I was totally unaware of the need for change. Amazing employees are always looking to improve systems proactively, and they do.

What you can do: Communicate a clear written vision of where the company is going and encourage initiative so people feel safe and empowered to make change.

5. Tell It Like It Is

Amazing employees understand that hiding bad news helps no one. They find kind ways to bring uncomfortable information to the surface, but they DO bring it to the surface. They tell people what’s necessary before major damage is done.

What you can do: Foster an open communication environment where people are not only given permission to tell the truth, but also absolutely required.

6. Demonstrate High Standards, With Low Maintenance

I always feel relaxed when I can trust an employee to perform a task to the same high standards I would expect from myself. Not all can do this without constant attention or difficulty. Amazing employees quietly drive their own high standards.

What you can do: Set the example and the tone for high performance with minimal drama. Publicly reward those who can execute in the same manner.

7. Grow Themselves, and Others

They not only drive their own career but they inspire others to do the same. These employees lead by example in how to advance without creating animosity or resentment. They see and create their perfect future, and also bring others along.

What you can do: Encourage personal development and peer growth through dedicated group time and learning for career advancement.

8. Research, Apply, and Refine

No employer expects people to know everything. In this fast changing world, I choose employees who will learn over those who know. The best employee proactively explores options, takes action and then improves without direction from the top.

What you can do: Invest time in exploration and expansive thinking. Encourage people to explore deep visionary projects with time and reward for the findings.

9. Stimulate Happiness

Amazing employees aren’t always sunshine and roses. They do know how to keep it real. But they understand the dynamics of people, stress, and the blend of work, life and friendship. They are self-aware and able to direct their own path that brings out their best with family, friends and career. They exude positive energy even in stressful times and share it around, making for a happier office.

What you can do: Create an environment where people can openly express themselves. Encourage them to work hard in fulfilling ways and achieve their dreams.

10. Facilitate Amazing Bosses

Amazing employees make me grow as an employer. They self-confidently get their value and help me get mine. They make me want to be worthy of working with somebody of such high caliber, without ever saying it directly of course.

What you can do: Make effort to genuinely show appreciation for any of the behaviors above so people feel their value and will grow to full potential. Then they will do the same for you.

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An Inc. 500 entrepreneur with a more than $1 billion sales and marketing track record, Kevin Daum is the best-selling author of Video Marketing for Dummies. @awesomeroar

http://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/10-things-really-amazing-employees-do.html?goback=.gde_1426_member_232095769

17 Ways to Be Happier at Work

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by Geoffrey James

A reader recently pointed me to some “rules for a happier life” that various folks have posted in various forms. Here’s my take on those rules as they apply to the workplace:

1. Don’t compare yourself to others.

Everybody, and I mean everybody, starts out in a different place and is headed on their own journey. You have NO idea where someone else’s journey might lead them, so drawing comparisons is a complete waste of time.

2. Never obsess over things you cannot control.

While it’s often important to know about other things–like the economy, the markets that you sell to, the actions that others might take, your focus should remain on what you actually control, which is 1) your own thoughts and 2) your own actions.

3. Know and keep your personal limits and boundaries.

While your job might sometimes seem like the most important thing in your world, you’re killing a part of yourself if you let work situations push you into places that violate your privacy and your integrity.

4. Don’t over commit yourself or your team.

It’s great to be enthusiastic and willing to go the “extra mile,” but making promises that you (or your team) can’t reasonably keep is simply a way to create failure and disappointment.

5. Remember you get the same amount of time every day as everyone else.

You may feel you’re short on time and that you need more of it, but the simple truth is that when the day started, you got your fair share: 24 hours. Nobody got any more than you did, so stop complaining.

6. Don’t take yourself so seriously; nobody else does.

The ability to laugh at your foibles not only makes you happier as a person, it makes you more powerful, more influential and more attractive to others. If you can’t laugh at yourself, everyone else will be laughing behind your back.

7. Daydream more rather than less.

The idea that daydreaming and working are mutually exclusive belongs back in the 20th century. It’s when you let your thoughts wander that you’re more likely to have the insights that will make you both unique and more competitive.

8. Don’t bother with hate; it’s not worth the effort.

Hate is an emotional parasite that eats away at your energy and health. If something is wrong with the world and you can change it, take action. If you can’t take action, you’re better off to forgive and forget.

9. Make peace with your past lest it create your future.

Focusing on past mistakes or wrongs inflicted on you is exactly like driving a car while looking in the rear view mirror. You’ll keep heading in the same direction until you collide with something solid.

10. Don’t try to “win” every argument.

Some battles aren’t worth fighting, and many people are easier to handle when they think they’ve won the argument. What’s important isn’t “winning,” but what you, and the other people involved, plan to do next.

11. Remember that nobody is in charge of your happiness except you.

While some work environments are inherently difficult, if you’re consistently miserable it’s your fault. You owe it to yourself and your coworkers to either find a job that makes you happy or make the best of the job you’ve got.

12. Smile and laugh more frequently.

Contrary to popular belief, smiling and laughter are not the RESULT of being happy; they’re part of a cycle that both creates and reinforces happiness. Find reasons to smile. Never, ever suppress a laugh.

13. Don’t waste precious energy on malice and gossip.

Before you tell a story about anybody else, or listen to such a story, ask yourself four questions: 1) Is it true? 2) Is it kind? 3) Is it necessary? and 4) Would I want somebody telling a similar story about me?

14. Don’t worry what others think about you; it’s none of your business.

You can’t mind read and you don’t have everyone else wired into a lie detector. Truly, you really have NO IDEA what anyone is REALLY thinking about you. It’s a total waste of time and energy to try.

15. Remember that however bad (or good) a situation is, it will inevitably change.

The nature of the physical universe is change. Nothing remains the same; everything is, as the gurus say, transitory. Whether you’re celebrating or mourning or something in between, this, too, will pass.

16. Trash everything in your work area that isn’t useful or beautiful.

Think about it: you’re going to spend about a third of your waking adult life at work. Why would you want to fill your work environment–and that part of your life–with objects that are useless and ugly?

17. Believe that the best is yet to come, no matter what.

When my grandmother was widowed in her 70s, she went back to college, traveled across Europe in youth hostels, and learned Japanese painting, among many other activities. The last thing she told me was: “You know, Geoffers, life begins at 90.”

http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/17-ways-to-be-happier-at-work.html?fb_action_ids=10200614171664318