Tanya Wyatt, Happy Valley pond

Imagine this. You wake up, stagger to the bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror. Then eyeball to eyeball and say “Good grief – I am, quite simply, the most wonderful person I know!” What kind of day at office are you likely to have?

What if it’s your job to make sure employees are happy? Would that mirror scenario be the kind of happy employee you’re aiming for? Consider the options when leveraging happy employees…

One option is sending everyone on paid, long-term leave or early (golden handshake) retirement. Happy employees but not so happy shareholders!

Another option – the tried, tested and annually repeated one – is to offer to pay someone a better salary, and maybe throw in a new benefit or two. All your happiness and productivity measures go up. Well at least for a month or six.

Employee engagement

Engagement studies suggest two lasting happiness drivers for employees. A good boss and an employee’s contribution being recognised! Is there any doubt that when you (the good boss) actively value your staff they will work harder and be more committed? That when you provide someone the opportunity and reason to be proud of him/herself, huge shifts can occur in terms of their motivation at work. Here’s a question: is money ever the lasting reason for working harder or smarter?

So how does this relate to looking into the mirror and seeing wonderful?

Our theory is: if you have staff members who value and love themselves, they’ll benefit massively from some pretty positive social/workplace and interpersonal interactions. Their tolerance, empathy and understanding of others is likely to be on the up. This tends to occur when they look into the mirror and learn to forgive and love themselves. Will such people be anything other than magnets of positive energy?

Positive self-valuation

They’re also more likely to be able to match their challenges to their capacity. By better understanding their personal boundaries, they are able to make better decisions. This stems from a place of self-valuing. This ensures that what they do commit to is given their full and undivided attention and effort. Because they’re strongly grounded in their own self-worth, what society dictates as ‘desirable’ has less impact.

Examples could be:

  • an unrealistic body shape,
  • hiding what they feel when confronted with uncomfortable situations,
  • or negative lifestyle choices (smoking, excessive drinking, under or over exercising)

These behaviours/thoughts evolve due to a lack of inner acceptance.

In aligning their inner world with their external goals, they’re more likely to look after themselves and their health – mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. What’s the end result? An all-round happier, more engaged, more efficient and motivated employee!

So how do you help your staff reach this state of Nirvana? It’s a tough start, but – as with anything – practice makes perfect, even when it comes to self-love! When people are able to recognise that their intentions are pure, it can go a long way in helping them see their own value. The more they can remind themselves of their goodness, the easier it becomes to believe that they’re ‘good’.

So, encourage them to give it a go. Let them try the developing self-love option; to work to change their inner messaging and thoughts until one day, that person in the mirror no longer pays lip service to wonderful. Now what would work be like if every employee gave it a shot?

(Moms and dads – watch this video for my take on showing your kids how you self-love, thereby giving them permission to do the same.)