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5 Tips for Improving Employee Happiness and Effectiveness

May 28, 2013 by Bruce Jones, Programming Director, Disney Institute

A team of Harvard psychologists conducted research on a list of the factors driving effectiveness of 64 U.S. intelligence groups, ranking them from best to worst.

Surprisingly, the strongest predictor of effective teams was not stable team membership, a clear vision, well-defined roles and responsibilities; appropriate rewards, recognition, and resources; or strong leadership. Instead, research noted the value in the following:

1. Encourage employees to help each other. Research on employee effectiveness has shown that the strongest predictor of any one group’s success was the amount of help teammates gave to each other. These groups were more cohesive, got work done faster, and educated new employees at a high rate of speed.
2. Creating a “giver culture.” In a “giver culture,” employees give their help and knowledge without the expectation of something in return. This culture boasts the highest level of collaboration amongst teams.


Discussing happiness in corporate culture, author and CEO of an entrepreneurial center, Cliff Oxford defines the differences between “H.R. Happy” and “High Performance Happy.” The difference lies in hiring people for compliance, versus recruiting the best available talent. Both methods can lead to happy employees, but as a leader, you should strive to build an environment where they will grow to become “High Performance Happy” by:

3. Giving your employees great responsibility. When you’ve hired the best, employees are happy to take a great amount of responsibility and show you why they are the best. Responsibility says, “I believe in you.”
4. Breaking out of unnecessary processes and rules. Entrepreneurs and start-ups allow employees to make hundreds of important decisions daily because they have to, and because they believe they’ve hired the right people do to so. Employees are happier when policies get out of the way and the employer trusts the employee to make the right decision.
5. Defining your mission. Imagine an Olympic athlete who is on the court at 4:30 a.m. for practice. Their mission, to win a gold medal, supersedes the long hours and hard work. What is your team’s gold medal? What are you striving to achieve?


Oxford uses these tactics to build his team, and cultivate High Performance Happy employees. “We find our happiness in being on a world class team that is making a difference,” he says.

By taking time to develop your employees, you will shift the curve of employee performance. This will help to make your entire team stronger and more efficient. How you can integrate some of these ideas into your leadership routine?




Posted in Selection, Training, Engagement | Tagged Employee Engagement, Employee Retention, Collaborative Culture, Team Building, Communication Skills, Bruce Jones | 0 Comments


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