By Dr. Lucy Kiruthu
As it appeared in the Daily Nation on December 25th 2018
When I started my first real job, I did not know what to expect. The new role in product research and development required working across many functions. Despite its meagre pay, the role was very demanding. There was every reason to be a miss grumpy. I was very happy mixing up concoctions in the laboratory and putting together reports. Soon, I realized that I had to go out to the market and pre-test the products. I pushed myself to get out of the comfort zone of the laboratory. I did not want to be miss grumpy when interacting with customers. I therefore had no choice but to develop an ability to interact with others. In my search for more information on how best to interact with others, I came across JoAnna Brandi who referred to herself as a happiness coach. Since then, I took a special interest in the link between happiness and business performance. I believe that happiness is good for each one of us and for our businesses.
Happiness is different things to different people. At the individual level, I believe that happiness results from a pleasant state of mind as well as from a sense of being satisfied with where we are at in life. When we are happy, it shows. There is not only joy in our hearts but a cheerful glow is evident on the outside. Happiness does not just happen; it is often intentional. Finding our purpose, doing what we love, being at peace and optimistic, pushing ourselves to the next level are some of the ways that have helped many remain happy at the workplace and in life in general. In addition, choosing to surround ourselves more with people that are cheerful and less with the sulky individuals is vital. Do you value your happiness? What are you doing to cultivate it?
At the corporate level, I consider happiness to be ‘good vibes’ or simply wide-spread positivity. In a business environment, it is crucial to focus on the happiness of both staff and customers. Happiness has to start internally before it spreads out externally. Since happiness is contagious, it easily spreads throughout the entire organization and beyond. It is important that business leaders firmly embed happiness in the culture of their organizations. It is not only important for the well-being of the business but also of its employees. The staff selection process should aim to yield positive individuals. These individuals collectively drive corporate happiness levels. Smart businesses should desire more of Mr cheerful and less of Mr grumpy. Do you value your business’s happiness? Do you measure your staff happiness? What was your customer happiness levels in 2018? What are you doing this festive season to cement the cheer? What will you do in 2019 to increase staff and customer happiness levels?
JoAnna’s mantra is that there a tangible return on happiness. Her equation that Happy Customers + Happy Employees = Thriving Companies is one that every smart company needs to pay more attention to. When our happiness is evident in our attitudes and actions towards others we are likely to become more productive. I have no doubt that happiness contributes positively to the bottom line!
Dr. Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via twitter @KiruthuLucy