Everybody knows that happy people do good work.
It might be true but it’s misleading too. Happy people and good work are correlated but they aren’t cause and effect. In fact, research shows that it actually works the other way around, people who do good work are happy.
Any manager who believes that to get good work out of their staff means making them happy first is looking down the wrong end of the telescope. Managers should focus first on making their staff successful — helping them grow, appreciating their work, making them feel responsible — and they’ll be happy.
Not an end it itself
But neither happy staff or good work are ends in themselves.
The result of all this good work and happiness is better experiences for customers.
Happy people doing good work put more effort into creating better products and providing better service. It doesn’t take Sherlock to work out that customers love the results: products that sing, beautiful design, effortless functionality, smiling service, attention to detail, total presence, focus. You name the measure, anything positive scores more highly with a happy, successful, engaged, and motivated workforce.
Which is good, but still it isn’t the nub — happy customers aren’t an end in themselves either.
All the happiness that’s floating around is useless without the success and sustainability of the business itself.
Start the ball rolling
Leaders shouldn’t challenge themselves just to make customers and staff happy (I’m sure you can do both if you try. Every time). The real challenge is to do it whilst making more money than you spend — which, by the way, lights up owners with success and happiness too.
So here at last is the point: successful sustainable businesses are made with happy and successful customers benefiting from happy and successful staff.
How to start the ball rolling? Make your staff feel successful.
Of course you have to pick your moments, but in general the trick is to do whatever it takes. You might have to set the bar a little low in the beginning, give praise for even the smallest thing and highlight effort rather than results. Whatever it takes.
But when the ball is rolling, use its momentum to climb those hills.