Employees’ mental welfare matters greatly for business owners and managers.
Happy workers score higher on surveys assessing engagement and loyalty. They’re more productive and creative. They take fewer sick days and are more willing to help their colleagues. According to one study, companies with positive work environments consistently outperform competitors in revenue growth and stock price — sometimes by a factor of two to one.
The secret to employee happiness? It’s not setting up foosball tables and nap pods or offering lavish complimentary lunches. Rather, the best leaders establish values that demonstrate respect, such as collaboration, inclusion and transparency — “and then make a point to actually practice what they preach,” said Jamie Notter, co-founder of Human Workplaces and the keynote speaker during the kickoff breakfast of SAF Palm Springs 2018, the Society of American Florists’ 134th annual convention last September.
Wall Street Journal Deputy Editor Sam Walker explored this concept in a recent article, “The Plymouth Colony and the Business Case for Gratitude.” Success, he argues, comes to leaders who provide “psychological safety,” a belief that one’s input is welcomed and valued. Flashy perks count for little if a workplace feels hostile; in comparison, regular acknowledgement of effort and a job well done carries significant heft.
To illustrate his point, Walker opened with an analysis of William Bradford, governor of the Plymouth Colony, “a poorly financed agricultural venture run by English separatists that gave birth to a fairly successful economic enterprise called America.”
In 1623, two years after Mayflower reached Massachusetts, “as Bradford’s long-odds startup finally stepped back from the brink of oblivion, he decided to hold a mandatory, three-hour staff meeting,” Walker wrote. “This wasn’t a party, an operational review or hackathon. The only item on the boss’s agenda that morning was to oversee a collective expression of gratitude, or as he termed it, ‘thanksgiving.’”
Click here to download slides from Notter’s SAF presentation, “Winning the Talent Wars with Culture.”