Creating Joyful Work

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” – John Quincy Adams

Positivity and productivity are tightly coupled.  Research shows that when you bump positivity up, you bump up productivity as well.  We can create the environment that fosters joyful teams – which in turn spreads optimism or positivity which in turn leads to success for the team and the organization as a whole.

Great leaders foster the right environment to create joyful work and boost positivity.

Here are some tips for anyone who wants to create the right environment for joyful work…

1.  Offer People Meaningful Work

People long to contribute to causes that are aligned with their values.  

Help your team understand the impact of their work on the world.  Help people find the right job that fits with who they are and what they value – even if it means leaving your organization.  Great leaders help align people to the where they can make their biggest contribution.

2.  Hire Good People

People want to work with good human beings.

Take the time to hire the best people.  Ones that will treat others with dignity and respect.  Allow opportunities for them to know and enjoy each other as people.

3. Give People opportunities to help others

People want to feel useful

Helping others gives people a purpose greater than themselves.  Design jobs where people have the opportunity to mentor, coach and help others.

4.  Encourage Learning

People want to learn new things.

Challenge your teams just enough so they are always stretching themselves.  People grow when they are challenged with something new – but just enough so it is not completely out of their reach.  Learning energizes people and helps them to continually grow.

5.  Empower People to be innovative and Creative

People want to be able to contribute their ideas and creativity and be masters of their own destiny.

Treat people like grown-ups.  Offer them the freedom and responsibility of managing their own work and using their creativity.

 6.  Support ‘Craftsmanship’

People want to gain mastery in their work.

Encourage and support mastery and striving for excellence.  Make it part of the culture.

7.  Celebrate Wins

People want to be acknowledged and recognized for their contributions.

Take time to publicly acknowledge successes and appreciate a job well done.  Recognizing achievements energizes and inspires people and leads to higher productivity, creativity, collaboration and engagement.

8.  Reflect on how you make people feel

People like people who make them feel better about themselves.

After a conversation, ask yourself whether the person you were talking to felt better or worse.  If they felt worse, think about ways you could have made that interaction more positive.

9.  Lead by example and offer positive feedback

People look up to and emulate their leaders.

Positive feedback has a huge impact on the performance of individuals and teams.  High performing teams express positive feedback at least 6 times as much as negative feedback.  Expressing positive feedback encourages others to do the same.


Reference:  Based on the articles: 6 Ways to Create More Joy at Work – Karin Hurt and The Energy Project.