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You’ve attempted to do all the right things to grow your business according to what trusted experts and mentors have advised. You’re diligent about planning and forecasting. When it comes to customers, you do whatever it takes to please them. Hiring smart is something you take very seriously. You always carefully consider the risks and potential returns before spending a dime. Competitor awareness and technological advances are also at the top of your radar screen. Despite carefully doing everything by the book, your profit margins and growth record still need help. What gives?

Happiness. Sure, we’ve all read various quotes about it being the key to life, but might it also be the key to business success? Most of us never learned about the proven impact happiness has upon business success while we were preparing to enter the corporate world.

Can creating a culture of happiness be the key to success? Some of you may still be skeptic of this happiness claim. Many of you understand the importance of having policies and practices that demonstrate positive treatment of employees and customers. After all, you host an employee picnic, a service awards luncheon, and even customer appreciation events. But, investing in a complete cultural shift based upon happiness? Come on. Get real. There’s work to be done. If you’re developing an entire business model around happiness, you’re just blind to the reality of competitive business. Right?

Wrong. In fact, according to research conducted by Good Think Inc. CEO and former Harvard researcher, Shawn Achor, happiness raises every business outcome for your brain. After a decade long study, it was proven that happiness raises sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and task accuracy by 19%, as well as improvements to your health and quality of life.

Considering the record levels of unhappiness at most companies, and the proven link between happiness and business profits, consider what you can do to instill a culture of happiness. Not sure where to begin? Consider some of these ideas.

Incorporate laughter into the workday.

Laughter connects people and triggers relaxation and creativity. As adults, we only laugh an average of 15 times per day, compared to an average of 400 times per day for children. Increase your company’s laugh quotient by adding a joke of the day or a humorous event on your company website, intranet or newsletter. Kick off an otherwise mundane presentation with a humorous, attention grabbing twist.

Creatively reinforce positive workplace behaviors.

Send an email to employees sharing a significant event or an employee going the extra mile, i.e. “just beat my project deadline by two days)”.

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