As we reach the mark of one year where COVID-19 continues to dominate our (work) lives, organizations feel the need to do something for their tired, stressed and anxious employees. Happiness at work is more relevant than ever to help people stay connected, productive and innovative.
These last months we’ve seen examples of companies sending aperitif packages, bottles of wine, meals & online fitness classes to their co-workers. Is this really creating happy employees? We appreciate the efforts of leaders being concerned about their team members, but we think that there are better ways to create happiness at work and not merely a nice perk.
First of all, the need of making a difference, of knowing that what we do matters and getting appreciation for the work we do. In times when nothing is certain and we are not able to control the outer world, it’s vital to get results and be appreciated for it. Some practical ways to show your appreciation at a distance:
- Post-its on a virtual success wall
Use a simple online tool for online brainstorming and let every success be shared by a simple text message, image or video. Other colleagues can like and comment. Too complicated? A success What’s App group might do the trick.
- Adding your have-dones to your calendar
Instead of a to do list you keep for yourself, why not create a “Tah dah” list. Add the things you have done to your calendar for everyone to see … that lovely feeling of getting things done and sharing those with colleagues enhances the sense of meaningful work.
- Share your achievements of the week in the first 5 minutes of a team meeting
In stead of jumping into the action, make time to share and cheer the successes of the week. A good vibe to open discussions on the next matters!
A second basic principle of happiness at work is having good relationships: belonging to a team and experiencing the range of positive emotions in the work place. This has been the real challenge in remote teams all the while surrounded by bad news and difficult working conditions (to say nothing of home schooling while working). To avoid a team burn-out and keep everybody on board you might try:
- Check-in conversations with all team members
How are you? What helped you this week? What gave you energy? Simple questions that allow you to get the temperature and the atmosphere, taking the time to communicate on a human level.
- Walking meetings
Grab that mobile phone, those earbuds and go out for a walk. Ideal for catch up phone calls and even nicer if your contact does the same.
- Meeting-free Friday
No Zoom call, no Teams meetings, just you focusing on jour job… and what about relationships then? Right, schedule a break in the morning, at lunch and in the afternoon, where you get together with colleagues and only coffee and cake are allowed, no work related talks!