Drive + Joy = Productivity

Sure, hard work gets things done. It takes drive, inspiration, and commitment to fuel hard work. But hard work alone cannot generate continuous, sustainable results. It takes a magic ingredient and one far too many large corporations fail to mix into the recipe: joy. Employees need to be happy, and you need to be happy to succeed. If a job is a constant influx of hell and bad tempers, people will burn out and crash.

It is not the employee’s responsibility to find or build that joy. In fact, most workers are too afraid to have fun in the office – like children kicking a ball around indoors, they are afraid they’ll get in trouble. It is the responsibility of the boss and the managers to enable an environment of fun and happiness. Not scheduled, forced happiness like luncheons or copy-room birthday parties. I’m talking arbitrary, unrestrained fun. Random field trips, marshmallow fights, grill days, action figure theft, whatever.

We purchased nerf guns for the office. Random shootouts happen daily now. I see endorphins flowing and smiles forming again. You’ll never know when you’ll get four inches of cold styrofoam to the skull. And I’ve gotten more done on one war day this week than all of the truce days combined.

Shape a culture in your office that enables and promotes joy. You can measure the results.