Joy on the job?




Every business is different – the goals, services and priorities shift from workplace to workplace. This is what makes our world go round. Businesses work with one another to provide their own expertise, creating a well-oiled machine that fuels the American workforce and creates the communities, cities and country we aspire to be a part of.

Citon fits into that equation as the company that provides area businesses with the IT tools they need to succeed. In doing so, it strives to improve the lives of those it does businesses with – one job at a time.

Joy is the ingredient that transforms good service to tremendous service. It sets companies apart and, ultimately, improves lives and the collective experience.

Take Menlo Innovations, for example. Its CEO and chief storyteller, Richard Sheridan, is the author of a book that addresses this very issue: Joy, Inc: How We Built a Workplace People Love. As a testament to his theory, his company has received numerous awards throughout the years for its dedication to joy in the workplace. It has consistently won the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Workplace Flexibility since 2006, largely in part due to its joy factor.

It’s safe to say Sheridan practices what he preaches – and it works.

Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist for Apple and author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, recently wrote an article in which he stressed the importance of intentionally creating a joy-filled workplace. Referencing the work of Sheridan, he compiled a list of the key components to a joyful workplace:

Imagine joy. Set out to intentionally build the company and workplace that you want to work for. If you don’t try to build a joyful company, you’ll never achieve one by accident.

Build community. Good attitudes spread. A contagious joyful attitude can spread from your employees, to your clients, and to the community. A rising tide of joy floats all boats.

Foster communication. An open work environment creates natural opportunities for conversation and growth. “A culture that embraces and honors its people with a changeable space encourages serendipity.”

Use storytelling. Engage your clients and visitors with stories of your company and your team. “If you can get the world to start telling your company’s stories, you will reinforce your mission every single minute of every day, even when you’re not in the room.”

Tear down towers of knowledge. One person shouldn’t be so integral to your organization that they can’t go on vacation or has to be on-call all the time. While these could seem like job security, ultimately, it’s too much pressure on one person and the infrastructure.

Design for living. “Whatever you do for a living, design plays a role.” Design helps tell your companies story and should help create the joyful user experience for your brand.

Kill fear. “Fear is one of the biggest killers of joy,” so it holds your team back from making bold decisions unless the bold decisions mirror what management wants. Which, come to think of it, often means they’re not really bold.

Make mistakes faster. “Small, fast mistakes are preferable to big, slow, deadly mistakes.” Create a culture where people can fail and succeed to survive and thrive. A small, fast mistake means you’re learning. A big, slow mistake means you’re dumb.

Rely on discipline. There’s no replacing hard work and accountability for your work. Discipline creates results. Joy and discipline are not polar opposites nor are joy and anarchy the same thing.

Catalyze teamwork. At Menlo Innovation, they work in a pairing system. Each week they switch pairs and maximize the skills of each employee as they rotate through different pairings. This pairing and re-pairing strengthens the whole team.”

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