To build a happy workforce leading to a trans-generational enterprise, you must be happy in yourself being the leader. That was the centre of our discussion last week. The assertion was premised on the fact that happiness is contagious. So is sadness. If you believe in this being true, it suggests therefore that further to developing a happy attitude in yourself being the boss for onward transmission to the entire workforce, seeing that happiness and sadness are contagious; your job should also include the transmission of happiness from one staff to another. To achieving this, the followings are the needful.
- VIGILANCE: Not to only ensure that jobs are done appropriately, a leader who intends to build a happy workforce and who is happy in himself must be vigilant to see that happiness is expressed by all at all times. Humans are naturally influenced by relationship; the workplace is one such environment where intimacy is easily built hence, influence. In view of this, often, a sad worker can easily transmit the virus of sadness through the entire workforce by infesting one worker at a time on the strength of closeness. Your level of vigilance as the Boss will reveal to you, the very worker who is the chief transmitter of sadness. If you fail to do this, your efforts at building a happy workforce will be jeopardised. Unhappy workers are easily detected by observing body languages during meetings and interactive sessions. Unhappy workers are often reserved and sometimes withdrawn, will pass short and sharp comments at intervals, will feel unconcerned and most times, moody. Like someone puts it, a sad worker is that fellow that will often pass bitter smiles. You definitely will somehow know that the smile from this fellow isn’t from within. Be vigilant.
Please note that sadness virus is an indirect and subtle transmission in a workplace. So subtle it is that a happy worker might not easily know the change in attitude until it has fully grown. It starts by commiserating and sharing in the personal pains of a fellow worker. By listening to the complaints and excuses of fellow workers and attempting to help out. This could take a while but the system of passage is very subtle.
- ACT: God created Adam and Eve happy. What action did God take when the duo chose to lose their happiness? God kept the garden but Adam and Eve? You know the rest of the story. Please note that there is very little a Boss can do to change a habitual sadist but the leader can do lots to protect the system from being infested. Timely action would be required. The action to be taken would however depend on the strength of the sadist worker within the system and the perceived source of sadness.
SOURCES OF SADNESS
- DOMESTIC/PERSONAL: Being a boss doesn’t give you the audacity to interfere or intermeddle with domestic or personal affairs of your worker beyond the level to which you are allowed. Even if you are allowed free access, wisdom demands that you take some caution and personally restrict your level of involvements in matters beyond the official. If the perceived source of sadness of the sadist worker is domestic or personal and the fellow will not leave the home problem at home, why not let such stay permanently at home? Mature but unmarried ladies in dire need of a husband are often accused of being touchy in the workplace. Wrong relationship leading to emotional distortion is another. Some religious groups have been accused of never happy or mix well with others in the workplace. Please note the source and act on time.
- NATURE: Some people are naturally sad. Why? Nothing except that they are just sad. Offer them your head, they will yet be sadder. Must you retain such a fellow who by nature is given to debilitating habit? No matter the skill, release such to his or her destiny.
- ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE: Being happy as the Head Boss or team leader doesn’t necessarily mean that the hierarchy will all through be like you. If the source of sadness in the workplace is traceable to the structure, please don’t hesitate, act. You might be better off relieving a sadist line leader of the job instead of infesting the majority.
NEW JOB CHALLENGES: Structural changes should be common with trans-generational enterprises. Workers who are fixated in their mindset would naturally become sad when emerging challenges are beyond their scope of reasoning and capabilities. Endure, motivate and train but the earlier you show the way out to such individuals the better for you and the future of your organisation.