Happy Team, Happy Business

 In the modern business world where clients and customers are becoming increasingly demanding, competitors are becoming more innovate, and results are reliant on motivated, engaged, and productive employees. A management strategy with a focus on happiness is becoming increasingly wise.

But what are the actual benefits of managing a ‘happy’ team?

Happy people are more likely to give the best of themselves to their life. They make more inspiring leaders, more effective team members, more productive workers, and they bring more value to the business not least because they require less ‘managing’.

How do you nurture a culture of happiness in an organisation?

In order to increase happiness, we need to keep ourselves and those we live and work with, dosed up with a cocktail of ‘happy hormones’. A happy hormone is simply a hormone that makes us feel good.

So, what does this DOSE cocktail involve?

D is for DOPAMINE and DRIVE because dopamine literally drives our brain’s reward system. It regulates our emotional responses, urging us to seek pleasure and enabling us not only to identify where rewards might be, but also motivating us to take action to achieve them.

O is for OXYTOCIN and ONENESS because oxytocin is also known as the ‘love’ hormone. It plays a role in empathy and trust and regulates social interaction. It makes us feel connected, loved, valued, and it enables us to build and maintain healthy relationships.

S is for SEROTONIN and STABILITY because serotonin helps us to maintain mood balance. It regulates sleep and anxiety, appetite and digestion, and memory and learning, making us feel calmer and clearer and enabling us to be more cooperative and focused.

E is for ENDORPHINS and EASE because endorphins help us maintain physical and psychological wellness. They regulate emotional and physiological responses, building our resilience and enabling us to cope with stress and anxiety.

It is self-evident why a team of people who feel good will contribute more to a business. But what can the management of a business actively do to intentionally increase these happy hormones in their people so that they feel good more often?

Most types of reward increase the level of dopamine in the brain which is why when we receive recognition or praise, we feel good and contribute more. A lack of dopamine can hinder our motivation and our impact. Creating a culture where both effort and contribution are recognised and actively rewarded will stimulate dopamine urges, fuelling the drive for further reward.

Most types of connection with others increase the level of oxytocin the brain, which is why when we have a sense of belonging, we feel good, share ideas, and participate more. When we feel isolated, it can result in fear and distrust, causing us to withdraw. Nurturing a culture where cooperation and collaboration is promoted, and people are actively supported to identify and play to their strengths will generate oxytocin, boosting team spirit and driving engagement.

A healthy mind and body increases the level of serotonin in the brain, which is why when we get enough sleep, eat well, and look after ourselves, we feel good and focus better. When we don’t, we feel anxious and stressed, and our ability to deal with multiple tasks or priorities is impeded. Fostering a culture where balance is valued and taking breaks to reenergise is both encouraged and facilitated will boost serotonin, enabling greater accuracy and driving efficiency.

Exercise, fun, and laughter secretes endorphins, which enhance feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. This is why when we’re doing something we enjoy, we feel good and apply ourselves. When we’re not it can result in lethargy and apathy. Promoting a culture where enjoyment is prioritised, and laughter and humour are encouraged will stimulate endorphins, stimulating creativity and driving innovative problem solving and solutions.

A management strategy that emphasises these cultural attributes amongst their own specific company values will reduce costs associated with lower unplanned absence, reduced turnover, associated recruitment, and training costs, as well as the increased rewards associated with greater engagement, loyalty and commitment, enhanced creativity and innovation, better efficiency and productivity, and of course, those all-important, elevated financial results!

Tamsen Garrie has worked in the field of people, team, and business development for over 20 years.  As well as being an HR Professional, she is a qualified in psychology and that combined with her experience working with hundreds of businesses has resulted in a thorough understanding of the many challenges that are familiar to businesses and business people.

She now runs a people, leadership, and team development consultancy, Alpha Associates, working with businesses with significant growth aspirations to transform their approach strategically to enable both individual and collective success.  

She is also the Director of Culture at Inspired To Change, a national brand of Solution-Focused hypnotherapists supporting people with anxiety and stress to make positive changes in their life and is the co-creator of a Mental Health training offering designed to reduce work related stress.