Working on joy | The Daily Vulnerable

by Damola Morenikeji

Recently, a friend told me about what is being done in her company to make staff happy and engaged. I laughed when I heard it, and knew the effects will not last.

I had just spent an hour in her office – and from what I saw, the perks wouldn’t do the magic. Only a change in the environment will.

Promoting joy in the workplace doesn’t mean you have to give people doses of laughing gas, or that everyone else must be smiling at all times.

Rather, it is getting rid of what cripples joy, and the things that steal energy away. The primary being fear.

And you can see this in several organizations; fear of the market leading teams to make wrong decisions. Fear of mistakes creating a cycle of more mistakes. Fear of an angry boss creating several loops of anxiety spirals. Fear that members of your team will mess up a project. And these fears find expression in almost every policy, and memo, and announcement.

The more an environment is ridden in fear, the more difficult it is to work on joy. Want a better working environment, work on fear. When you eliminate the downside, the upside (joy) will find ways to take care of itself.

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