I landed my first job in 1980. It was at a soup and sandwich restaurant in a local mall. I thought I had gained independence (along with joy) because of the money I pocketed. But is a salary what creates joy? I later learned it’s not. My full time career positions started in 1986; and since then, I’ve worked for advertising agencies, owned my own agency with many employees and led communication teams.
I’ve experienced joy and discouragement across many bosses and working on many teams.
What I’ve discovered? People in jobs where they find joy; produce more and better work. In the creative field that’s incredibly important. Although, I believe that workplace joy is essential to get positive outcomes from most jobs!
How can you be known for workplace joy? Like all things, it takes consistency of intent and dedication. Here are 5 things I’ve experienced in my career history that affected and promoted joy:
- Truly care for your team. I don’t know many employees or employers who can do everything alone. Everyone needs somebody. This team around you are all people with needs, concerns and goals. Be known for caring for them by suggesting solutions or paths to their goals. Get this right and you’ll be joyfully needed and wanted.
- Treat everyone as important. Because they are. I’m amazed at workplaces that have varying levels of importance. They don’t get it right. Everyone is important on a team or they shouldn’t be there. So share gratitude everywhere. “Thank you” goes a long way to joyfulness.
- Listening is more valuable then leading. Most leaders like to lead but, since we’re all leading something or someone on a team, we must consider who to listen to before we lead or we may find ourselves too far ahead from the team. Or leading a disgruntled team. Authentic listening leads to joy.
- Controlling workplace language. This may sound strange but everyone on a team needs to be told their benefit to the team and why they enjoy working where they do. This is a cardinal communication axiom: tell people why they genuinely find joy where they work, and they’ll find it there and readily repeat it when asked “why do you like your job?”
- The recipe of personalities are key to interactions. All foods don’t go together even if you like them separately. As much as I love dill pickles, I’d never couple them with a chocolate sundae. All personalities are God-given and by themselves are fine. But we have to be careful when pairing certain personalities. What I’ve discovered? When people are aware of their personalities (the way they benefit teams and what could challenge others) they tend to bring joy to workplaces. A good personality test will enhance the recipe and create a sweet taste for all who interact. This is true joy.
I’m sure I’ll continue to learn as my career expands; but ultimately people and processes can lead to stress or unite the team with joy. The effort is worth it! Be known for workplace joy.