Last week my husband and I volunteered in our adult daughter’s 1st grade classroom. It was so fun to see the excitement of the new year and watch these young people getting engaged in learning new things.
We can learn a lot from these first graders. They spent time reviewing their listening skills, practicing being kind and respectful, and learning how to resolve conflict in an appropriate way (and some of the consequences when you don’t).
Their focus on learning the foundations of good communication reminded me that how we communicate with each other is critical in everything we do, even lining up for recess.
We watched our daughter manage those little ones and make learning fun. Research supports that you can build a solid team in any situation by making sure everyone is happy. Not unlike the goals of first grade!
In fact, studies have found that team members who are happy at work are more creative, produce better results, and are willing to go the extra mile.
Employees who report being happy at work:
- Stay twice as long in their jobs as their least happy colleagues
- Spend double their time at work focused on what they are paid to do
- Take ten times less sick leave
- Believe they are achieving their potential twice as much
Psychologists have identified three main components to happiness at work:
Think about whether you actively encourage these three things on a regular basis. Does your team have good relationships with each other? Do they laugh? Do they find the work interesting and challenging? Do they get to be a part of something that makes a difference to someone?
Beyond the impact on your team, the science of happiness at work has benefits for you as well. If you are truly happy at work, you’ll solve problems faster, be more creative, adapt faster to change, receive better feedback, get promoted quicker and earn more over the long-term.
Betty Lochner is a communication specialist, author, and professional speaker who teaches individuals and organizations how to make small changes that make huge differences in their relationships at work and home – improving morale, confidence and productivity. She is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home and 52 Communication Tips. Both are also available on Amazon.com.
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