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Herman Berman  - Indra's blogIndra takes to the blog again today to share her insights on agency culture, recapping her presentation at the recent PRSA International Conference.  Other posts from the conference can be found here, here and here.

Culture is something most agencies work hard to achieve and maintain. Given the competitive nature of attracting and retaining talented staffs, you’ll find agencies that offer chair massages on a regular schedule, yoga classes (guilty), and special coffee and espresso makers (guilty) just to keep employees happy.

But what we’ve discovered here at i.d.e.a. is that what employees really want, is real happiness. The kind that comes from the inside out. So we hired a Happiness Coach. His name is Eric Karpinski and I highly recommend poking around his site, there’s lots of good info there.

One of the things Eric taught us is that focusing on happiness pays off in business. Happy employees are:

  • 31% more Productive
  • 37% more Successful in Sales
  • 19% more Accurate in their Work
  • 3 Times More Creative
  • Up to 10 Times More Engaged at the Office

Eric coached our team to focus on four behaviors, choose one and make it a part of your daily life for 30 days. And see how it makes you feel. The four were:

  • Gratitude
  • Exercise
  • Random Acts of Kindness
  • Meditation

The experience had a palpable outcome for the folks who fully participated. There was a lighter, slightly more joyful vibe in the office. Really.

What makes employees unhappy? Aside from their own internal “Stuff” it is often the sense that they don’t feel heard. What can you do as a manager to help keep employees happy?

  • Help Them Evolve Professionally
  • Communicate Regularly and Openly
  • Set Objectives and Measure Against Them
  • Reward Success
  • Encourage Team Bonding
  • Listen

What else do we do at our office?

We have dog visits, in particular from Herman Berman, featured above. You can’t look at him and not smile. He’s just so goofy.

We do community outings like beach cleanups.

We have a kegerator and every Friday knock off at 4:45 for a beer before heading out. Everyone leaves happy on Friday!

Hold holiday potlucks, often in tandem with costume contests.

And as a result, we are often just a bunch of happy monkeys - working hard and enjoying the process. What do you do at your office to support happiness?

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

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