Why it pays to smile at work — literally

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  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Sept. 1, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    The root of employee satisfaction is a sense of being valued -- in terms of compensation, recognition, and employee perceptions that they're making a difference.

    Sadly, too many companies treat their employees as "resources" to be "exploited" that are easily expendable. Consequently, they have lots of turnover and are constantly seeking new hires, which reduces productivity and is costly...

    I know of one organization where the old-timers are largely neglected and ignored and the new people are praised, recognized, and compensated handsomely. The boss even points to them as the stars who will take the organization to the "top tier." It is very demoralizing and yet, the old-timers are expected to mentor the new-comers and help them succeed.

    Smiles are still passed out freely, so superficially, things appear pleasant... but those smiles do little to curb old-timer resentment and disengagement. So much talent is squandered by this organization's administration, but little can be done because any criticism or suggestions are often seen as defiance and a threat to the leadership. Some old-timers stick around because they enjoy working with their customers... but otherwise, the whole situation is very sad...

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    While it is good that there are those who are trying to instill a friendly work environment through programs and support groups, what it really boils down to is personal choice. Programs and support groups cannot make us happy at work. They can help relieve stress, but individually we have a personal responsibility to choose to be happy. From an HR perspective, policies and procedures don't necessarily need to change to engage employees or lift their burdens. Work is sometimes tough. Making everything easy doesn't produce quality results either. But whether we give commands or respond to demands, we can all be more kind in our approach. When things get rough, we can choose to maintain a positive attitude. We can choose to smile when our boss has criticized our work. We can choose to leave work happy at the end of the day. If everyone were to choose to be happy, then yes, we would have a more inviting, more creative workplace.