Monday, May 1, 2017

Culture Works How to Create Happiness in the Workplace by Kris Boesch



"When people feel good about coming to work it ripples into the community, into the homes and the coffee shops and the parks and ball fields. When people are happy at work, they are better parents, spouses, volunteers and citizens. When we make the workplace better, we make the world better" - Kris Boesch

Let's face it. Either you work in an organization with a healthy and vigorous culture, or you drag yourself into work every day knowing the drudgery and negativity that waits let alone collaborating with people you don't trust. For most people, pay is not the prime reason that they work. In fact, it is way down the list. So why do most of us continue to go to work day after day entering the realm of negativity and disenchantment? As leaders, we have a responsibility to create a culture where there is a strong vibe the minute our people walk in the door. We should offer a healthy and collaborative workplace. Our enemies are boredom, distrust, politics, lack of collaboration, burnout, and lackluster performance.

Kris Boesch’s new book Culture Works How to Create Happiness in the Workplace is an engaging book that guides leaders to create a unique and extraordinary work culture. Kris’s book will keep your eyes glued to each page as you experience some new innovative concepts, engaging stories, tools, and ideas “Action Jackson” activities to embark on with your teams.

Culture is the "superglue" that binds people together and ultimately urges our people to form healthy relationships, collaborate, create synergy among groups, strengthens emotional energy in the air, and breed happiness. Culture is an intangible asset that ultimately makes or breaks the profitability of a company. It drives everything from the mission and vision to healthy meetings, performance appraisals, and compensation. Knowing this, many companies still neglect to invest in the tools and activities needed to grow a culture that has an impact.

Kris introduces us to the eight Critical Happiness Factors every healthy organization needs for a firm culture to thrive. Each factor below is represented in one of the book’s chapters most impacted by the content shared by an icon specific to each factor. It’s not surprising that compensation, benefits, and perks did not win a place on this list.

1.       Supervisor
2.       Co-workers
3.       Meaning/Job Fit
4.       Autonomy
5.       Impact
6.       Organizational Support
7.       Organizational Fit
8.       Work-Family Climate

Culture Works offers some tools and assessments to test your organization’s culture and strategy alignment. The Culture Assessment will open your eyes and prompt you to think deeper about culture. Examining the ROI of happy employees using the factors above will undoubtedly convince you to jump on the bandwagon to make a difference in the culture quest. Kris offers online resources and tests along with intriguing questions to ask of your people. I read Culture Works effortlessly on a rainy Saturday afternoon because it flowed with ease. The variety of content and ideas intrigued me.

Here are some more key ideas that you can use to enhance the culture within your teams or organization tomorrow.

·         There are a variety of learning resources for every learning style. Culture Works notes a variety of articles, books, research materials, and videos for personal learning and to share with your teams that Kris terms as “Favorite Resources."
·         We are given numerous examples and stats about culture, engagement, conflict, and a variety of other workplace factors.  Kris presents the data in a leisurely and entertaining fashion so that the reader understands concepts without the eyes glazing over.
·         Culture Works contains at least one "Action Jackson" idea that is fun or inspirational activity you can use with your team that is relevant to the chapter content. These are by far my favorites in the book.
·         There is delightful humor dispersed throughout the book along with playful ideas and games to try with your people. How about a "Choose your tattoo," "Speed dating," or "Rose, Bud, Thorn" exercise?
·         I loved the variety of ideas offered on how to recognize and reward people. My favorite part of being a manager is unexpectantly thanking people in a way that makes them comfortable.
·         Kris introduces numerous acronyms to trigger our memories with some of the tools she suggests. Ideal for my mind!
·         No stranger to change, I particularly enjoyed the insight regarding change while learning more about eight key change styles and steps.

Culture has always been my priority when looking for a new employer partner. Once you have worked where you feel valued, engage in open collaboration and recognition, people enjoy working and achieving with one another, and would almost work at a place for free because of the strong culture you will never settle for less. As a leader, you have an opportunity to enhance the culture of any organization that you come into contact with even for a short time. Why not jump into creating happiness by impacting culture? Pick up Culture Works today!