Get Happy or Get
Attitude is the Key to Organizational Success
By Nathan Jamail
If your organization is looking for the true secret to
increase sales and productivity, it’s simple: increase morale.
Rather than looking for theories or testing unproven research,
increasing employee morale has proven itself over again as the one
tool that produces the most positive results. It just requires
work, thus it’s often ignored. Essentially morale creates a culture
– a “get happy or get out, but get somewhere” culture.
Creating the culture of “get happy or get out” is simple but
that doesn’t mean it’s easy, which is why most leaders keep looking
for the “other” secret sauce that is easier to execute and deliver.
It takes strong leadership and commitment to the process to make the
culture change successfully.
A “get happy or get out” culture encourages employees to stop
complaining and being negative; either enjoy your job and be a
positive person or find a job that makes you happy. Nobody likes to
work with negative employees, but sometimes as leaders it's easier
to ignore them than to take action and deal with “bad attitude”
Bobby or “negative” Nancy. News flash: as a manager or leader of an
organization it IS your job to deal with them.
Why is a positive attitude so important? What about the
people who are just not positive or are naturally grumpy? Do we
fire everyone who doesn’t come into work with the overly bubbly
attitude of, “It’s so great to be alive and so great to work with
all of these great people”? Being positive is not about being
overly cheerful, rather it is about being externally happy and
pleasant toward others and it should be a requirement of any
organization. When people ask, “How are you doing?” it means
responding with “I’m doing great!” or heck, even, “I’m living the
dream!” And being positive shouldn’t be difficult – in fact, there
are three simple reasons why everybody in a successful organization
should have a positive attitude:
Life is too
short to be unhappy.
individuals spend more time at work than anywhere else including
home, so they should not have to deal with negative,
life-sucking peers and supervisors.
productivity, sales, customer satisfaction and employee job
It’s your job:
Oftentimes, managers and leaders make the mistake of defining doing
a good job as completing a task. For example, if the warehouse
employee is early everyday, has zero shrinkage and his facility is
in perfect condition, but he is always negative and cranky, and most
people avoid him because he is unbearable to be around, his manager
may say he does his job well – he’s just a grumpy and negative
person by nature. Wrong! His job is to work the tasks of the
warehouse and be a positive aspect of the business. The operational
stuff is just part of the overall job description. The actual job
is doing the tasks with a positive attitude and enjoying your work.
It’s easy to think that only customer service employees
should be happy and positive (actually some customer service people
don’t even realize that is a priority either). That’s a mistake.
If a company treats all of their employees the same way they want
their employees to treat the customers, they will start see an
improvement in the results. This does not mean people don’t have bad
days and that nothing ever goes wrong, but it does mean that
employees shouldn’t make other people’s days miserable and project
their problems onto others – especially not customers and
co-workers. This culture starts at the top. A leader must first be
happy and positive before he or she can expect it from the team.
How is it done?
first thing is to make it a hard and fast expectation for all
employees – not just customer service personnel or management. The
second thing is to hold everyone accountable to it. Like most job
expectations it must be tracked and enforced consistently. If a
person stole money or product from a company, they would be fired
instantly. Bad attitudes and negativity are stealing – and in
fact, it's usually at a much larger dollar amount than the tangible
things that people steal.
Measuring a positive attitude is difficult for many HR
departments because some feel it is not tangible. Why not make it
tangible by working on the little things? A smile is part of the
work uniform. Negative gossiping is not permitted. Treat all
customers like your mother or someone you love and respect. Every
employee needs to be helpful and make it their priority to make
others feel special.
Being a positive and a helpful person is not always an
attribute; it is a skill that can be taught. Show the team members
how to walk with a customer to find a product, how to greet a
customer, how share struggles with management and co-workers, how to
communicate. Teach people how to have a great attitude and how to
be helpful. Most importantly, make this part of your weekly and
monthly practice sessions during meetings and trainings.
It makes all
The fact remains
that negativity and bad attitudes will hurt a company’s financials a
lot more than a poor economy. Creating a positive and happy
environment does not mean to accept subpar performance and not hold
people accountable; in fact, it is the exact opposite. Hold
everyone accountable to exceeding his or her expectations.
Constructive feedback and corrective action by a manger is not being
negative because the intent is to make them better (or should be
approached as such). How the person responds to the coaching is the
basis of determining their coach-ability and their attitude. So
tell everyone “get happy or get out but get somewhere!”
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