For some, the mere hint of the phrase, happiness at work, lends itself to wise cracks, chuckles and a slight roll of the eyes; for others it’s a passion!
Over the past five and a half years, or just over 286 weeks, we have been on a cultural journey at Roma Moulding to create one of the happiest workplaces. Our goal is to build a workplace where people come and do some of the best work of their lives, while doing it in a fun and happy environment!
Now some of you who are reading this might be rolling your eyes, or shrugging it off as fluffy and or unattainable. I encourage you to challenge your conventional thinking about work and open a personal inquiry in your own personal experience about workplace happiness!
For some, work is viewed as a “Battle”, a “Grind”, a means to ”PTB” (Pay The Bills). In fact, a recent Gallup study found that 80% of people hate their jobs, and that 70% of employees are disengaged in their roles. These statics go on and on, but the simple fact remains true!
On my recent trip to New York, I encountered many people representing many businesses. I conducted my own personal experiment on employee happiness levels and the correlation to great service. I analyzed the people in each company, from their body language to how I was greeted, to their willingness to genuinely answer my questions and to their ability to over deliver on service! I prefer to keep the names of the companies anonymous.
After arriving in New York City, I check in and get my rental car. After a nice walk, a tram ride and up a few escalators, I finally reach the counter. Being the only one in line at the counter, I was hoping for a quick expedited service experience. Well I was wrong. The two counter attendants did not even acknowledge my existence, and when I proceeded to ask if someone could help, the response was less then favourable. After a few minutes, they asked me to come up to the counter and asked for my documentation. At this point, I was not greeted and certainly not made to feel special. While the attendant was filling out what seemed to be endless paper work, the attendant gets side tracked and gets called to the back, leaving me guessing. The attendant arrives back with no explanation and continues to process the paper work. This continues on for what felt like an eternity with no to very little eye contact and not any conversation, other then the standard questions they are tasked to ask! Needless to say, the experience was dismal and certainly not one I’ll engage in again!
After an hour and a half drive, in relatively okay traffic, I arrive at my destination. I walk through the doors of the business and approach the counter. At the counter I am greeted by a warm smile and big “good morning”. Instantly, I felt something awesome… a happy person! I was then asked how I was doing and whom I was there to see. There seemed to be a slight mix up but the attendant was quick to rectify the challenge and put me at ease. She proceeded to print out our nametags, and give us a brief overview of what to expect next. I was really taken back by the hospitality and thanked her for caring so much. I asked how long she had been with the organization and that’s when it all poured out! She responded by saying, “I’ve been on the team for over 38 years, and I love it”. She then gave us a brief history of the company along with history of the building; you clearly could feel she was literally in the right seat! She then proceeds to personally walk us to the meeting room along with offering us a tour of the cafeteria and bathrooms… at this point I was blown away!
Clearly, I chose to do business with two very different companies. What will have me continue to do business with one company versus the other is the way in which that person made me feel. Both had an equal opportunity to move, inspire and wow me, both had equal means to do so, and both had my undivided attention, only one company succeeded.
You can have the best products, marketing and strategies, but fail to focus on employee happiness and all is gone by the wayside. Success cannot come from unhappy people. Unhappy people cannot deliver remarkable experience nor can they think outside the box. You cannot and will not have happy customers if your people are not happy first!
Happiness Drives Everything!