More and more organizations realize that happy employees translate into productivity, motivation, team spirit, and overall success for a company.
As I have written about before, stress is an important factor determining not only a person’s health but also motivation and performance levels at work.
I’ve recently read about and talked to people (in Germany) who actually have the job title called “Feel-Good Manager.” I’m not joking!
You’re probably thinking “What the heck is that?”
Before you start picturing a guru sitting on the floor with crossed legs, a therapist inviting employees to come lay down on a couch and talk about their problems, or a clown entertaining people during lunch breaks, I’ll stop you right there and explain.
A Feel-Good-Manager (FGM) is a person whose main task is it to make or keep employees happy, and to maintain top performance levels.
The tools of a FGM depend on his/her qualifications and experiences. They can include team building, stress-management, personal development, time-management, and even simple well-being strategies, like exercise and nutrition.
Intrigued? Here are six things a FGM can improve:
1. Motivation and Happiness
I interned at a large organization in Chicago last year and very much enjoyed their cafeteria food, which always included healthy food like grilled fish, fresh veggies, fruit, egg white omelets and frozen yogurt. In addition, they offered a fully equipped gym, including aerobic classes in the morning and afternoon, for whatever best fit their employees’ schedule. I realize that not every company has the resources or money to do that, however, a FGM could offer nutrition tips, business yoga, Pilates, meditation or other light exercise sessions that fit in-between work hours. A balanced diet will not only keep employees healthy, but also happy and focused. Employees could learn about relaxation and stress management techniques to increase their productivity and mood and improve the overall company atmosphere.
2. Creativity and Innovation
Think about the big players of the most innovative companies in the world. What do they do differently? They trust their employees, give them space, and allow them to think and brainstorm in areas other than their desks. Almost none of them works at a desk from 9-5 staring at a computer screen. You can’t teach or force creativity; it comes with a level of well-being, a feeling of being understood, needed, and trusted. Providing the team with a FGM could set the stage for thinking outside the box by ensuring that employees realize they are valued and important to the company.
3. Team Spirit
A FGM could also help your team grow by offering assessment tools like the MBTI, Disc, Firo-B, or team building exercises and role plays that help people understand each other better. Think about sports teams. It’s almost impossible to win a game or championship when the players aren’t playing together as a team. Unfortunately, nowadays, particularly in western countries due to their individualistic cultures, employees at companies seem to be in competition with each other; trying to be better than their colleagues to get the promotion. A FGM could help reset the company’s’ culture by transforming the individual players into a team.
4. Fewer Sick-Leaves and Turnovers
Healthy nutrition and regular exercise are big determinants of physical, as well as mental health. Promoting well-being doesn’t mean having to cut work hours or add more vacation. It means ensuring that employees have opportunities to de-stress and recharge their batteries, thus finding their homeostasis again. Often, an imbalance turns into unhappiness, which oh so often brings about psychosomatic symptoms and diseases (please also see my article on “Six Tips on How to Deal With Difficult People”). This is probably one of the biggest problems companies face nowadays, because it creates high costs and low productivity/success levels for an organization. A FGM would care of the well-being and balance of each employee to prevent talent withdrawal and high rates of sick leaves.
5. Company Loyalty
Money isn’t the one and only source of motivation anymore. Believing in the company’s product and mission, agreeing with its values, liking what you do, and feeling needed are becoming increasingly important. Think about it, if your boss hired a FGM wouldn’t you feel like she/he viewed you and your colleagues as valuable and important to the company? It’s almost like a partner or friend who cares for you and your well-being. Aren’t you loyal to your partner or friend as well?
Happy, well-balanced employees, and all the other characteristics mentioned in one through five are vital to a company’s success. In addition to all those tools and benefits, a FGM could help employees reach their highest levels of performance and productivity by coaching them set smart goals, or by searching for and setting up additional training in their department.
Isn’t all of this pretty logical?
No matter whether you’re a CEO or a director of Human Resources, think about it: if you drive a luxury car, you don’t refuel it with just ordinary gas, you use premium gar or diesel, right? Your company is just like that expensive car and the fuel is your employees. Make sure they are happy and motivated.
Karen Naumann earned her M.A. in Counseling & Organizational Psychology in Chicago, IL. After living in the USA for six years, she decided to move back home to Germany in 2012. She’s a strong believer in the mind-body connection and looks at each individual as being unique. Karen is a health-nut, and passionate about traveling, cultures, languages, healthy nutrition, as well as practicing yoga and Pilates. Her goal is to inspire others, and to share the importance and beauty of life with positive thinking even in difficult times.