Want to engage employees and customers? Try Vitamin C – as in Celebration.
Neuroscience reminds us that the brain is hard-wired to maximize reward and minimize danger. That’s right, we are put on earth to happy dance. We’re programmed from the day we are born to live in a positive state of mind. So what happens as we make our way through our life journey? Challenges, pressure, political strife creep in and cause us to abandon our reward state.
How do you deal with all this stress, you ask? Well, Vitamin C of course, Vitamin C—as in ‘Celebration.’ Your daily dose will raise you and your organization to new levels of well-being, productivity and happiness.
We define celebration as acknowledging all that is good! Acknowledging the good work that you do, the people that you do it with, the people that you do it for. It’s when your to-do list becomes your done list. It’s acknowledging the little and the big milestones along the way.
It’s an attitude, a life philosophy, it’s the lens through which you see your world. And if you can change your lens, you can change your language, and you can change your life.
Changing your lens
When writing the book, “Celebrate, Lessons Learned from the World’s Most Admired Organizations” we surveyed corporate leaders and HR Directors and Managers from around the world.
In one of our survey questions, we asked our respondents, “What is essential in making a celebration successful?” Time and again, three words were mentioned: gratitude, play, and surprise. GPS!
Gratitude – appreciating the life that we have and those that we share our life with. It’s the ability to find the gift in life’s many challenges. Where there’s a grudge, anger, or resentment, there’s no space for gratitude. In gratitude, we use the wisdom in our mistakes and setbacks as inspiration to help us make better choices tomorrow.
True gratitude comes from the heart and not the head. When you practice being thankful you attract more of that which you appreciate into your life. Anthony Robbins put it this way: “When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” And that’s when life truly will be a celebration.
Every morning when you awake, ask yourself this question: What am I grateful for today? If you can’t think of anything, check in the obituary section of the newspaper. If your name is not there, there’s something to be grateful for. Food on the table, close relationships, health, a job, security, the air you breathe, a sunset, love in your heart—these are just a few gifts we often overlook.
I believe that gratitude is the single most important determinant of your future wellbeing. After all, it’s not happiness that makes us grateful, it’s gratefulness that makes us happy.
Play – the ability to let go of anger, resentment and negative emotions of the past and focus positively on the present. It is being in the state of flow, staying open to the possibilities of the moment.
Create some fun. Experiment. Live in the moment. Be curious and spontaneous. Cleverly reward staff for their ideas. Look for the laughs at work and at home! When you’re living in the moment, you have no outside demands, no worries, no pressure… just good, stress-free living. It’s in this state that you can deal creatively with the disruptions of the day.
Surprise –– it’s all about adding an unexpected element of play. It’s being in the state of play with the intent to trick or astonish others in a good way. The reason celebration fails in most organizations today, is because it becomes institutionalized. Celebrations can go stale, fast. The best surprise includes creatively catching people doing something right. It’s surprising team members with more of what’s highest on their joy list. It’s creating an experience that honors who they are and the good work that they do. If you want to keep a celebration fresh and fun, add a little surprise.
So my recommendation to you is to not get out of bed in the morning without turning on your GPS. It makes good dollars and sense, for it’s guaranteed to engage your employees and your customers. Gallup estimates that 500 billion dollars a year is lost in productivity due to dis-engaged employees. Hay Group reports that companies with engaged employees outperform dis-engaged employees 54% in employee retention, 89% in customer satisfaction, and 400% in revenue growth.
It’s time to turn on your GPS and hear that voice in your head—Recalculating…turn left ahead and you will have reached your destination…of a happy, more fulfilled career and life. A toast to many years of Happy Dancing!