June 4, 2012
~ by Jennifer Martell and Katie Favreau, Global-Z Co-Morale Officers
I have a philosophy that involves making other people feel happy. I get a great sense of personal well-being when I am able to pull it off. This is particularly true at work. I believe that happy workers are more productive. Additionally, an injection of levity in the workplace often results in a more pleasant working environment overall. Recently, our company went through a belt-tightening period that was felt by everyone. At that time, my co-worker Katie and I decided to appoint ourselves as official Global-Z Co-Morale Officers. This position takes advantage of our innate happiness-spreading talents and our uncanny ability to twist and convolute any situation or conversation into something extremely funny, even if it is only funny amongst ourselves…and it frequently is.
We decided to attempt to do our small part to save the company money while at the same time infusing humor and fun into the workday. We were already doing this by nature, but now we had made it official. Making people happy doesn’t have to involve elaborate plans or expensive trappings. We have found that our work can progress more smoothly with things like bribes involving chocolate and/or peanut butter, preferably ‘and.’ We took it upon ourselves to bake birthday cakes to replace the ones we were getting from our favorite local bakery.
Who knew that adding candy corn designs on a carrot cake could make a big difference in the perception of cake value? We did.
Who would think that an adult would enjoy a princess piñata for her birthday celebration? We did.
Who thought that unexpected and colorful decorations at a co-worker’s workspace would generate genuine smiles and heartfelt gratitude? We did.
And when another co-worker’s birthday came shortly after, who thought it would increase the levity quotient by recycling a Happy Birthday sign by crossing out the original name and replacing it with the new name? We did and it worked.
These things in and of themselves are fairly insignificant over the lifetime of a business such as ours. However, in the day to day workings of a small company, they become essential to creating the best possible environment without sacrificing efficiency, throughput, and all the other boring workplace jargon.
Recently when Hurricane Irene ripped through our land-locked state we were told that we could shelter at Global-Z if it became necessary. We decided to be prepared for the worst and announced plans to build a campfire in the middle of our Production suite. Understandably, this was met with raised eyebrows and the usual lame objections about open flames on carpet. We shrugged off the criticism and built a terribly lifelike fire replica in the middle of the suite and promised to make S’mores for everyone later that day.
Who knew that the simple joy of making and consuming S’mores could lift spirits dampened by the devastation? We did and it worked. While making S’mores over a tea light candle is not the easiest thing to accomplish, it was fun, and many employees were eager participants.
Whether it’s wearing Hello Kitty ears to make people chuckle, or laying out an amazing “make your own” ice cream sundae spread, or simply passing out real Valentines to everyone (including the boys), there is always room for random acts of frivolity. Live life abundantly. Stay funny, my friends.