When's the last time you took a survey of smiles per hour in your workplace? I've traveled the world and learned one universal truth, smiles are the key factor of success. Smiles do not require academic theory, they do not require a translator, and compensation can't sustain them. A smile is always a reflection of one's core; a smile is worth a thousand words.
1. Smile Audit: We can spend exorbitant sums of money on consultants to tell us how to build top workplaces, or we can revert back to human psychology and common sense. When people are happy, they perform. The simplest expression of happiness is a smile. Do you recall the often annoying survey people standing outside your grocery store after a long workday? Remember what they are doing, surveying. The smile audit is two fold: 1. At the beginning of the day as people walk in and 2. at the end of the day when they leave. Now, this may seem hippy to you and divergent of corporate culture...count the number of smiles as your employees enter work and exit work over the course of your week. While you soak this in, think about one more thing...your employees spend more time with you than they do with their families; this leads us to #2 below.
2. Positive Culture, Positive Results: If you've been around long enough in the human resources field, you are well aware that culture is one of a company's greatest control mechanisms. In human capital strategies, we determine the desired outputs of humans as they perform and contribute to the bottom-line. In recruiting, we screen carefully to select the best candidates who demonstrate the right skills, attitudes, beliefs, and ability to conform with our culture. Culture is not new, its importance spans centuries over tribes, new civilizations, and the latest corporate sleep-pod. Your culture shapes your employee's lives. It is your responsibility as an employer to provide a stable, positive, and rewarding culture so that your employees perform at their peak and remain true to their core.
3. Longevity: People who are happy are people who are healthy. The cost of losing an employee can add up to a point where your company is in the red. The cost of unhealthy employees adds up in insurance premiums, lost time, and depression leading to poor performance and co-induced termination. If your conversation starts with, "I'm busy (insert straight face)..." instead of "I had a great weekend with my family (insert smile)..." it is time to re-visit your culture and take a serious look around to see who is happy and who is not; are you ready to lose a key player? I urge you to challenge your past or current culture to ensure your employees longevity. If smiles are lacking in your company's day to day, you are on the verge of losing an employee(s). Invest in your employees, know what makes them tick at their core, and build a company culture that is in it for the long-haul.
At the end of the day, many people don't have the luxury to do something that is both meaningful and pleasurable. It is our role as leaders to facilitate positive work environments that allow all of us in our finite lifetimes, the ability to contribute at our full potential and smile while we spend most of it working. And for those who work, may you find success as the old quote goes, "Choose a job you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life..." Confucius