This post follows an intensive mentoring session with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and Jenn Lim, CEO Delivering Happiness where I learned how Zappos grew from a tiny retail start-up to the industry leader it is today and what advice they would give new (and current) entrepreneurs. These seasoned (and successful) business minds shared with me ten vital, hard-won lessons that they credit for Zappos’ success.
Yep, Happiness IS Good for Business.
Happiness probably isn’t the first word that pops into your head when you think about work. But maybe it should be (or at least the second word.) Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you all to gather your staff into a circle and sing Kumbaya. But I do want you to think about a couple of things:
Disengaged employees cost you money. A 2012 Gallup Report estimated that disengaged employees cost American businesses between $450 billion to $550 billion each year in lost productivity, and are more likely to skip work or to steal from or sabotage their companies. Disengagement is not only bad for morale – it can sink your bottom line. When your team doesn’t feel any ownership for their work, you need to be proactive in getting them back on track. Delivering Happiness has found that companies whose employees feel a higher sense of purpose outperform others by 400%.
You can re-engage your employees through your company culture. A key part of motivating and engaging employees is to make them feel that they have a stake in the company’s future. Empowering them with more responsibility, seeking their input, and recognizing their hard work and initiative are all powerful ways to get your team to buy into your company’s purpose and future. Delivering Happiness offers a comprehensive survey that measures the four interrelated categories with the most impact on work happiness, including personal resources, the organization itself, the work done, and personal feelings about the job, including whether it inspires a sense of purpose. Finding out how your employees feel about your business is a great way to figure out how to tweak your company culture to get the best engagement.
Building happiness into your business model is profitable. Employee happiness isn’t just a pleasant afterthought. It’s actually a powerful driver of innovation, productivity, and increased profitability. Not only are engaged employees more likely to do their best work (not to mention come into work in the first place), but employees that love their jobs are more likely to take initiative and suggest ways to improve your business, talk you up to their friends and families, and infect your customers with their own enthusiasm and loyalty. By offering your team a workplace that takes their happiness into account and endeavours to make them feel valued and empowered, you’re essentially inspiring them to be your company’s biggest cheerleaders – worth their weight in gold.
Tony Hsieh and Jenn Lim are two of the successful entrepreneurs I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing over the years. Did you know that success can be summarized into just three habits you need to master? I’m sharing about the first habit in my newest book, The First Habit: The One Technique That Can Change Your Life which you can download here for free.
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