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Friday, November 17, 2023

Lean Quote: For Success, Like Happiness, Cannot Be Pursued

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.  —  Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Most people believe that happiness arises from suitable conditions, and that to be happy requires one to find, for example: a good job, a nice house, a new car, etc. However, it is actually more effective to rely on intrinsic ways of finding happiness, rather than through these extrinsic, object-oriented ones. Being happy is actually achieved mostly through one’s behavior and outlook rather than material, situational means. This is why it’s important to start cultivating healthy habits.

No matter what type of business you run, you’re going to need your employees to perform well in order to be successful. If you get the most out of your employees, there is no limit on how far you could go. In order to get the most out of your employees, making them happy should be a priority. Here are five ways that you can help your employees be happy about work.

1.     A sense of meaning: Whether on the widget-line or in the executive suite, every employee feels happier knowing that their hard work benefits not just the business but the larger world.

2.     Opportunities for growth: People are happier when they are learning, and they are happier doing their jobs when they feel that they are enjoying continuous opportunities to grow.  A lot of those people are even happier when they know that growth is helping them get to the next rung on their desired career ladder… or lattice.

3.     Offer autonomy to workers: Allowing workers to perform tasks related to their jobs in their own way will not only make workers happier. It will also make them more productive since they will not have to waste time waiting for approval from superiors

4.     Offer a good training program: Employers shouldn't underestimate the impact training has on employees and their future happiness. A company-sponsored mentorship or structured training sessions are likely to lead to engagement among employees.

5.     Create a favorable office environment: Employees are happier if they like where they work. Simple things such as reducing the length of meetings, providing food to employees in the office, and recognizing employees after a job well done make employees happier.

Communication with employees also helps to alleviate many concerns they may have about their job since it helps workers feel happier and more secure at work. Communication either in person, in an email or with a handwritten note all helped to make workers feel better at work.

In general, workplaces that make us feel included, valued, cared for, and competent bring out our best efforts. And while happiness alone may not cause productivity, it’s a pretty solid start. Happier workers stick around longer, bring more energy and enthusiasm to their tasks, and help maintain organizational morale.

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