Applications are open!
The Happier Workforce Cohort launches in September, and applications will be accepted now through August 23 at 5pm. (Applications received after that will be considered for the cohort starting in April, 2022.)
I used to work exclusively with nonprofits because making a difference in the world was the most important thing to me. In fact, I mostly worked with progressive social justice groups, because that's the kind of world I believe in.
At this point in my life, it seemed that what mattered most about work was not happiness, but making an impact. I wanted to change the world. There were (are) so many big problems, and the solutions are hard to implement. Working directly on solutions felt like the right thing to do. So why, now, do I recruit small business owners as clients? Isn't that a bit of a switch?
Yes and no. In my experience, it's the work-related stress that makes us lose sleep at night. In fact, one survey found that to be true for more than one-third of respondents; and, more than half of those surveyed reported that workplace stress had nothing to do with workload - 28% cited people issues, 6% job security, and 20% work-life balance. (Ok, that last one might be related to workload.)*
The most insidious impact of stress is that it creates more stress. You lose sleep at night; the next day you're more pessimistic, and more likely to snap at people or judge folks harshly. You're sharing the stress. The more you share the stress, the more stress is created, leading to others losing sleep and sharing the stress... it's a vicious cycle, and we have the power to stop it.
It doesn't always feel like we have the power to stop it. I remember.
Stress built up at work, and I'd carry it home with me, and lose sleep. Eventually, I left the job. No big moment of turnaround, no moment of crystal clarity - I just left. And never really gave feedback about why.
I had a specific and important Purpose. I thought I was Engaged in the work, because it was important to me. I had Resilience, though the longer I was there the more this broke down because the organization as a whole didn't support resilience. Finally, there were moments of Kindness between people, but not systematic support of being Kind.
So, I left. I stopped doing that work. I left the field entirely.
The thing is, I was still intent on learning what the heck had happened - how had something so incredibly important to me become the last thing I wanted to do with my life.
I became a mediator, first, and decided to concentrate on workplace conflicts. Then, I earned my Professional Certificate in the Science of Happiness at Work. And, I got certified in offering the EQ-i2.0 assessment on emotional intelligence, too. Plus, I sought out information about workplace culture and how companies can treat their employees well. Over and over, I heard people praising my ability to listen, to teach interpersonal skills, and the value they placed on my consulting role. And I also heard clients, again and again, give me examples of ways their companies had failed to systematize or follow through on the basics of Purpose, Engagement, Resilience, and Kindness.
Too often, company leadership has no idea of the importance of Purpose, Engagement, Resilience, or Kindness, or they do, and yet continue to shoot themselves in the foot in one or more of these areas. I've got a simple, free, one-page download that defines each of these to help you get started on creating a happier workforce.
Small businesses employ nearly half of Americans, according to the Small Business Administration. The more the people in charge of those businesses understand about building a GREAT place to work, the more their employees will be fulfilled and happy. A truly great place to work is not all about pool tables & beer at the office; it's about how people feel about working there, and whether they are valued and understand their purpose and given opportunities to grow. I believe that, when business owners and leaders have a deeper understanding of this, there will be more happiness at work, and that will have real ripple effects throughout our society.
Apply to join my first Happier Workforce Cohort. Meetings take place online, so you can be located anywhere. The ripple effects will be immense: your company can become one of the best places to work, the place people don't want to leave.
Not sure about joining yet? You can learn more about the cohort here. Or, for the fee of $40, you can view me in action on this topic: Access a 44-minute recorded webinar called The Business Owner's Guide to Building a Happier Workforce. The video - and included downloads answering questions from those who were able to attend live - covers 4 actionable, practical tips to get started using right away, as well as more background on Purpose, Engagement, Resilience, and Kindness. While this webinar was designed for owner-employers, it can be helpful for anyone who cares about happiness at work - especially team leaders. Purchase the training for $40 now.
*Statistics are from the American Stress Institute. Full report is downloadable at their website.