Did you know that more and more companies are hiring “laughter yoga” instructors to come into the office and induce prolonged voluntary laughter? This practice is based on the belief that voluntary laughter provides the same physiological and psychological benefits as spontaneous laughter. And they may be on to something.
Laughter, positivity, and happiness can all have real business advantages. We’re always talking about building a strong, healthy organizational culture, and positivity is actually the root behind it all. Positive employees are more engaged, are more able to inspire and motivate others, and have greater job satisfaction.
So what are the pillars of a positive organizational culture? Here are three of the most important characteristics:
A Strong Team Spirit
We spend a lot of time with our colleagues, and we all know that a fantastic or awful coworker can define our office experience. It’s no wonder then that camaraderie is a key to a positive culture and the true motivator for employees to go the extra mile. In our 2014 Employee Engagement and Organizational Culture Report, we found that peers, not money, have the number-one influence on colleagues to outperform expectations.
And they have more fun doing it. Seventy percent of employees say friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life, and research has found that strong social connections at the office could make employees more passionate about their work.
Thoughtful Appreciation And Recognition
When someone praises you or thanks you for a job well-done, don’t you feel super motivated to keep going? Aren’t you excited about getting more appreciation? That’s the great thing about recognition—it has a flywheel effect. The more you thank your employees, the happier they will feel and the harder they will work to continue receiving appreciation.
Showing appreciation to employees doesn’t have to involve a big meeting or “Employee of the Month” ceremony. It can be as simple as pulling an employee aside after a long project and specifically thanking them for what they did. Or it can be a thoughtful card around the holidays. Just taking the time to recognize hard work in an authentic way is enough.
Transparency And Honest Communication
Not only is lying less linked to better health (yes, there was a study), it also makes for a healthier, happier workforce. Okay, you’re probably not lying to your employees, but this same idea holds true if there is a lack of transparency in your workplace.
If your employees feel out of the loop or like you’re not telling them the whole story, they will be less likely to express themselves creatively, voice their opinions, and feel loyal to the company. They want to understand the big picture, even the ugly parts. Transparency builds trusting relationships where employees are more comfortable speaking up, being themselves, and having great job satisfaction.
So if you don’t feel comfortable inviting a laughter yoga instructor to your office yet, take baby steps and start working on building a strong team spirit, recognizing your employees, and being transparent. Before you know it, you’ll be laughing out loud with your employees.