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Joy at Work

Hi little baby bears! Today, I want to talk to you about something so important...JOY. I think now is a great time to revisit this topic because we are all coming off of a break. Hopefully that small break was a pleasant one for you. As we re-enter the after-school realm, it is crucial to remember that cultivating joy in the workplace can make for a much better experience for members, staff, and parents.

In May, I was lucky enough to attend the national Boys & Girls Clubs of America conference. One of the sessions was entitled Happy Employees Equal High Performance: Powered by Happy by Beth Thomas. The session highlighted general and at work. I want to share some awesome takeaway from the training and share with you what we have decided to implement at our Club!

The formula to become a GREAT place to work:

  • Passion + Alignment + Leadership = GREAT CULTURE

  • 29% of employees are ACTIVELY engaged or passionate about what they do or move the organization forward.

  • 54% are disengaged or checked out

  • 17% are ACTIVELY disengaged-busy “acting out” their disengagement and undermining their engaged colleagues.

  • As it relates to engagement, what is most important to employees?

  • Work/Life balance is the #1 factor in engagement from 46% of survey respondents

  • Compensation is 57%

  • The work itself is 50%

  • Supervisor/Boss is 52%

Job Security is 70%


  • Disengaged associates cost U.S. economy more than $300 billion each year in lost productivity, higher turnover and diminished business success.

  • It costs more than just the company money. If you are one of these unhappy, disengaged associates, you may be the FIRST to go when times get tough.

  • 50 % of a person’s happiness is based on their DNA, the other 50% is by choice.

  • Happiness at work = higher productivity and success for YOU and YOUR workplace.

  • It affects company morale, culture, and performance and retention- it is all tied to Employee engagement.

6 Things Wise Leaders do to Engage Employees & Lead Change

  • Stop unknowingly creating tension

  • Don’t expect them to behave like you, allow them to be themselves and embrace an entrepreneurial attitude that will stimulate engagement.

  • Detect the most positive capabilities in people

  • Focus on what they do right, rather than wrong

  • Empower to discover potential

  • Nothing more demotivating than micromanaging

  • Let go, step back, observe

  • Put them in the position of influence

  • See how they react and engage in their new role. Stimulating engagement is a two-way street.

  • Employees are most engaged when they feel a sense of responsibility towards their leaders and being an example to others.

  • Share your success to build their momentum

  • Sharing your success with your employees makes them feel that they are an important part of your accomplishments. It is a sign of trust that organically creates engagement.

  • Be consistent and have their backs-Trust is Huge.

  • This is the top reason people leave leaders.

  • Loyalty comes from looking out for their best interests.

Advice from Other Leaders

  • Lead by example! Would your employees say you are a positive influence/leader or a negative one?

  • Give employees something to reach for

  • Define success for your employees

  • Create and embody the company (values, vision, and mission)

  • Get involved with the company culture.

  • Use transparency to inspire, and communicate often.

  • Learn what motivates them-how they like to be recognized.

  • Hold them accountable.

  • Treat people with respect.

  • Leaders have a responsibility to promote a positive culture.

  • Control your emotions. You set the tone. Don’t be fake.

  • If you are a leader, LEAD. Lead by example.

How do you Achieve Happiness?

  • Working long hours does not define success being engaged, happy, passionate and feeling valued does.

  • You have to WANT it.

  • If achieving happiness is important, what are YOU doing to achieve it?

  • Are you focusing on it? Dedicating time to it?

  • 1st step, define what happiness means to you. Ask your employees what happiness mean to them.

  • Create an “I Wish” List instead of a “To Do” List to balance life and work

  • Plan for something special

  • Schedule lunch with a friend

  • Be realistic

  • Check off your to do list and reward yourself with something from your I Wish list.

  • Weave some of your I Wish list into your to do list.

  • Take a daily 15 minute “me time” break

  • The Power of Gratitude

  • This stops the feeling of unhappiness

  • Focusing on good make good things come

  • Reduces envy and negative emotions

  • Doing good for others is the #1 thing that contributes to long sustainable happiness

  • Minimize Negative Thoughts

  • Over 70% of the things we worry about NEVER happen

  • Master your stories-deal with facts not fiction

  • Stop your negative thoughts in their tracks

  • It is never too late to create new habits

  • Make a High-Yield Happiness Investment

  • Help others be successful

  • Reward and recognize

  • Pay it forward

  • Random acts of kindness-make it a habit

  • Schedule Happiness

  • Really, schedule it!

  • Focus on it, work at it, dedicate time to it.

  • Make a commitment to a weekly “me” event.

  • Hang with the Gang that Gets It

  • Your peers can drag your down or lift you up

  • Create a personal board of directors

  • How are you perceived by others?

  • Law of attraction-positive people attract positive experiences

  • The Boss

  • 80% of people leave their boss, not their workplace.

  • How to love your job even though you hate your boss:

  • Look in the mirror and do a self-check

  • Steal shamelessly-find out who has worked well with this person and model those behaviors.

  • Building good working relationships with peers minimizes negative exposure to the boss.

  • If you cannot wait your boss out, leave.

  • What is Next for You?

  • Your call to action, write down your plan:

  • What can YOU do to become more engaged?

  • What can YOU do to help or motivate others?

  • What can YOU do to change your culture?

  • What can YOU do to lead by example?

  • What can YOU do to make yourself happier?

  • What can YOU do?

Create a Culture of Happiness!

  • Designate a Happy Employee of the Month

  • Ask your employees how they like to be recognized

  • Ask your employees what makes them happy

  • Hand out a worksheet like this! Or ask questions like this:

  • How do you most enjoy being recognized?

  • What are three things that bring you joy?

  • What contributes to dulling your shine?

  • Who would you say is the happiest staff at your Club?

  • What makes this staff happy according to your perspective?

  • Who would you say is the happiest member at you Club?

  • What makes this member happy according to your perspective?

  • We also decided to recognize a happy staff and member of the month in addition to our Youth of the Month and Staff of the Month programs! Click here for a sample certificate!

One of the greatest things about this is that you are also able to identify "unhappy" members and can begin meaningful, important conversations with them! By implementing a Happy Member of the Month award, you are able to embrace positivity and remind members that it is important to be happy...not everyday, but most. And if a member isn't happy, you get to put on your warrior face and help make the world a better place for that kid!

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