Some companies are happy.  Everyone who you engage with is onboard and has a sparkle in their eye.  You know who these organizations are and you choose to work with them.

Be this your own company, your supplier, your customer, or your partner.

Let’s be clear for a moment. This doesn’t transcend beyond a single location.  If you are dealing with a franchise (and we do increasingly) then one location may have the magic happy dust, but the next (even if it is just down the road) may not.

If we’re dealing with a large company in multiple locations, then the same is true – you may find it in one location, but not from another.  In really big campuses we find that happiness may only be department wide.

What causes this happiness?  Not to be too Maslownian, first there is the basic needs… are people getting paid enough and given a working environment (and tools) that are suitable? Secondly, it’s the attitudes and happiness index of others.

We know that happiness is contagious.

We also know that negativity is contagious.

Therefore the equation for magic happy dust that leads to a happy company is:

  1. Pay the employees well enough (paradoxically, research shows us that overpay doesn’t really help
  2. Provide the most suitable work environment and tools
  3. Happiness comes from the top
  4. Happiness is continuous
  5. Be ruthless in stripping out any negativity at its earliest signs

Of course, you want to work for a happy company.  And if you have any say, you want to buy from, sell to, or partner with a happy company.

Some of the happiest places I work with have a very high turnover of staff.  Traditionally I thought that was poor management, but increasingly, if I see a lot of magic happy dust lying around, I want to see a high staff turnover.

I can share that in the past I have run really happy companies, but then it only takes one negative person to turn the tide. And we’re not great at getting negativity out of the company quick enough.  I pledge to eradicate negativity quicker in the future… for everyone’s sake.

Be happy. It’s far more fun for your own career and the health of your company.

Are you happy?