If the economy’s going to be the same, what are we going to do differently?

Reading through comments from Chief Executives with their trading updates, none of them are talking about the economy getting easier. While the FTSE has got off to a great start people are talking triple dip.

To get different and better results we are all going to have to do different things or the same things differently.

That’s us and our people.

And we’re going to have look both inside our organisations and outside them for opportunity. Today I’m going to focus on the internal dimension.

Internally, we need to motivate our people to keep going despite the adversity. We need to inspire them and strengthen their resolve to overcome the obstacles that are the daily norm of doing business. They need to be able to handle stress better too and have more confidence about the challenges they face.

We need them to produce more from less through creative solutions.

Nobody would disagree with any of this though would they? The big question is how? How do we do all this great stuff?

Engagement is still on everybody’s lips.

But what drives engagement?

Research from the Taskforce and others shows that happiness is the biggest driver of engagement.

The happiest employees are:

108% more engaged

180% more energised

50% more motivated

40% more confident

25% more productive.

Yesterday I heard some interesting results about what makes us happiest. And it’s little things like finding a ten pound note or an unexpected hug from our partner.

The conclusion I draw from this is to work on the big picture and the little picture at the same time.

The big picture is the engagement strategy. And in particular the emotional elements of that strategy…. and get some external input on this if you need it.

The little picture is the collection of those things that only take a moment but give your direct reports a warm glow, like a complement or just a few words of appreciation. And get them to pass it on to their people!

Happiness is a feeling not a thought. And it’s felt in the split second not an index. Make people feel good makes you feel good and happiness so you all have a better day and your company has a better year.