How is Your H Factor?

Do you have all the conditions in place for a great work environment? Have you heard about the H Factor?  I am referring to the Happiness quotient in business. It is getting a lot of attention these days.

I must admit I find the lectures and chats strange. Mainly because most of it is from masters of theory, and like you, I am a master of real experience.

Years ago, happiness in the workplace was NEVER contemplated. Lately, I see so many pundits trying to upend the entire environment and make Happy the ‘new in thing’. With no discussion about profitability or ROI improvement.

I believe the emphasis on being happy at work, while not wrong in intention, is focused on the wrong thing. And consequently, these H Factor discussions as currently framed, are nothing more than mental masturbation exercises. I suggest a reframe.

My teams have always ended up engaged, enthusiastic and empowered about their jobs, career path and their contributions. White-collar, blue-collar, professional and not. And while those teams did not necessarily start out ‘happy’, I laid the foundation for all the members to find something that pleased them.

Some Hard Truths

Last year, the Mayo Clinic released the following pronouncement “The person you report to is more important to your health than your family doctor!” At the same time, Harvard released a study showing more than 70% of ALL managers in the workplace have never ever had formal training on how to be a good manager.

Worse, for the gobs of funds which have been spent on all the management, leadership and personal improvement courses purported to make things better in the workplace, that 70% factor has not changed in over 100 years.

Human beings are the backbone of all organizations. The number one thing all human beings want is acknowledgement. Acknowledgement for their attempts to try, for making progress, even for being the pillar that held everything together. Acknowledgement in front of their peers. By their peers. And by their bosses.

Every single one of us human beings wants to feel special. Make a meaningful contribution to something greater than ourselves. And get recognition, occasionally, as slightly more than just a cog in the wheel.

Five H Factor Suggestions

As you begin some new routines this year, consider implementing just one or two of these following suggestions. I promise, with a bit of consistency, you will see very positive results.

  1.  Say thank you to each team member. In-person. Once a month. About something specific they did. Include an explanation of how their action is furthering your goals and objectives
  2. Share with each team member how what they did that day specifically contributed to the furtherance of your organization’s significant impact on the world.
  3. Organize a monthly or quarterly success meeting and acknowledge each specific impact made for the greater good.
  4. Share frequently about how the work you are doing together serves something beyond yourselves. (It might be helping other people, other businesses or even changing society.) Focus your comments on the world you are shaping and the why behind your reason for being.
  5. Drop the casual discussions about being off-budget or losing that bid or account. Discover and share the positives of how what you are doing is making an impact in your world.     
    Here is what I know. Your employees are responsible for creating their own happiness. You, as their leader, are responsible for creating the conditions so that they can feel valued and acknowledged. Those conditions are so much more than just a paycheque and rules to work by. The right conditions pave the way to glorious results — for everyone.

Interested in learning more about some of the right conditions? Tune into Friday’s podcast here for a more fulsome discussion. Or, reach out to me.

To your success!

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