People are 80 per cent emotional and 20 per cent rational. Whether you’re dealing with employees, colleagues or clients, they will never forget how you made them feel. Internationally-renowned motivational speaker amanda gore, explains what corporate joy is, why it’s the next competitive advantage and why joy at work really matters to the bottom line.

For success in the corporate world, everything is dependent on feelings. How people feel about themselves, their job, their boss, colleagues, company and customers is critical for performance.

In the last 12 years, scientific fields have revealed new secrets about how humans really function. The world has changed, but in most cases, business has not.

We still try to ‘manage’ people in the same old ways, but people are different – they demand more. They want to feel valued, to feel that what they do matters and makes a difference, that there is some purpose and meaning to what they do. They want to feel some sense of autonomy in their work and daily activities, and that they are growing and developing – not just their skills but also as people. They also want to feel that their boss cares for them, that the company they work for is socially responsible, and to feel engaged and enthusiastic about their work, so that their work is not just a job.

Joy at work and why it matters

Engagement, innovation, creativity and inspiration are buzz words that have been focused on, but creating an environment in which people can achieve high levels of these is not specifically cultivated. We need to start with a focus on a joy-filled, fear-free workplace.

When you feel motivated, inspired, enthusiastic and excited about what you do, you enjoy work – you are engaged.

A very successful, multi-billion dollar global company called Barry Wehmiller runs its business on the credo, “We are developing great people to do extraordinary things”. Every decision they make and action they take is filtered through this credo, and it works because everyone believes it and consequently acts on it.

It makes people feel good about who they are, what they do and the company. They are genuinely being supported in their growth and development; they feel they belong and are making a contribution, and they help each other in the pursuit of ‘extraordinary things’.

The field of positive psychology tells us that positive feelings are critical for flourishing workplaces.

Fear (the enemy of productivity) and joy

The enemy of joy is fear and a workplace ruled by fear is an unproductive, high turnover, political, miserable place.

The elements of joy are gratitude, compassion, hope, reverence, generosity, listening, laughter, energy and vitality, forgiveness, cheerful enthusiasm, love and equanimity. All of these are essential leadership qualities and can transform a workplace.

These words in diff erent versions are appearing more and more in business literature because they are the new competitive advantage. If you are a leader and create an environment in which people can feel good about what they do – feel they belong; can work without fear; have a sense of purpose and meaning; and believe in what they are doing and what the company represents – as well as feel good about themselves, their colleagues, their customers and you, you will create a joyful, super productive workplace.

10 ways to bring joy to your business and make it more productive

  1. Feel good about yourself

    How you feel about yourself will aff ect almost every aspect of your life, especially your performance. Feeling good about yourself gives you the opportunity to make others feel good about themselves. This makes for a great colleague and boss.

  2. Value feelings

    Success in business is always about feelings; the way we feel about a product, organisation or person influences our decision of who we conduct business with and what we spend.

  3. Work + Joy = Profitability

    Joy at work matters – it is the new competitive advantage, with 2.6 times more growth in earnings per share than those with less engaged workers.

  4. Create a safe environment

    Create a work environment that is fear-free and joy-filled. Fear inhibits performance, creativity and blocks the ability to experience joy at work.

  5. Recognise and acknowledge

    This is the number one thing people want in life – when employees and their work are valued, their satisfaction and productivity rises and they are motivated to maintain or improve their work.

  6. Keep learning

    The brain loves and needs change to develop, seek opportunities to grow, learn, and develop at work.

  7. Be grateful

    Gratitude is the foundation of joy. Gratitude reframes everything that happens in your life. Find ways and things to be grateful for in everyone and everything at work.

  8. Be a good finder

    Find good in everyone and every situation. There is always something good to find and this habit will change your life. People don’t like working with pessimistic energy suckers.

  9. Have a purpose

    Find purpose and meaning in the work you do – of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation and perceptions during a work day, the single most important thing is making progress in meaningful work.

  10. Love your work

    Most people spend 50 per cent of their lives at work, so it’s critical to fi nd purpose, passion and love for it. Be aware of the need to unplug, sleep seven hours a day, exercise, take regular breaks, relax, see friends and eat right. You will live longer and be more productive.