I’m an evangelist for the happy work life movement. Whenever I get a chance to write about it – and perhaps help a manager, boss or CEO spread the love to their employees – I do. Why? It’s a no-brainer. Happiness in our work lives equates not only successful teams and businesses, but it also creates happiness in our personal lives too; an all-around win. And, you spend much of your life working, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy it, right?
So, I’ve gathered a few happiness-inducing knowledge nuggets (oh, I like that) to help you produce the happiest, most positive and productive employees possible, so you can succeed at your startup and do a very happy happy dance (I’m doing mine right now).
1. Performance Feedback
Turns out I’m not the only one who likes to pass along happy employee tips. My boy Daniel Melo, fellow KillerStartups writer, wrote a great article on how performance feedback for your employees is essential for retention and happiness. If you work for a startup, you know just how much time energy and effort it takes to keep the dream alive. Accordingly, team members want to hear that all their hard work is actually contributing to the success of the team (or, if something isn’t working). By doing this, employees have positive reinforcement and incentive to keep it up. It also gives them pride in their work. When you feel proud, you feel happy.
2. Happy Startup Culture
Rohan Bhansali, CEO of Gozoop, shared some pretty awesome tips on how he sustains a killer startup culture and keeps his team happy. Some of his tactics include:
- Getting together with the team on Saturdays to do silly stuff like food eating competitions and Bollywood dance-offs.
- They’ve appointed a “happiness officer” who randomly brings in homemade cupcakes for the team. This would make me very happy.
- And my fave- Rohan writes letters to the parents of outstanding team members to highlight their achievements. Happy parents make for happy sons and daughters.
Rohan says that creating a startup culture that fosters fun and interaction amongst team members is a high priority over at Gozoop, and believes that this is at the heart of their success.
3. Freedom and flexibility
I know that these two things are very important for me, and I’m fortunate to have a good dose of both as a freelance writer. But this also goes for startup teams. Often times, positions and responsibilities aren’t so clearly defined in startup teams, so working with your employees to help create a role that fits both the company’s needs and the strengths and passion of the employee will be a double win. And, happiness will ensue.
4. Holidays… celebrate!
Finally, the way to really get my happy dance going is vacation time! This is something that, for me (and any sane person), is essential to maintain a healthy work-life balance and re-charge your overworked batteries. It’s pretty much a scientific fact that being able to disconnect from work (and stress) and relax in a non-work environment (let’s see the Caribbean, Florida, Mexico…) will allow you to clear your head and refresh… well… everything really. And, you know what a clear and refresh head leads to? More creativity and space for new ideas. That could mean innovation for your startup and success in the future.
So, bosses – encourage holiday time amongst your team. Oh yeah, and make sure you take a vaycay too. This, along with patting your team on the back, creating a fun and relaxed culture and encouraging team members to use their strengths and passion are just a few ways to produce a healthy, happy and successful startup team. I think you know what time it is. Happy dance time, yo!