Joy Inc

Learn how to use the power of joy to unleash the power of your staff.

Most people could use some more joy in their lives, granted you’re not the Grinch, or you’re just someone who’d rather be melancholy instead of happy. Joy is a kind of emotion that uplifts our mood and it feeds our inspiration.

Therefore, think about how awesome it would be to be able to be joyful in each part of your life. You wouldn’t only feel happy on the weekends, but you’d even feel good at work as well. You may even not mind your everyday commute and end up actually enjoying to work hard, since it would feel as if you’re playing.

That kind of circumstance doesn’t only have to be present in your dreams. Based off of the practices of the equally revolutionary and successful software business, Menlo Innovations. In this article, you will learn how to transform any work environment into one that is full of joy, which causes staff members to perform to their maximum capacity.

Throughout the article, you’ll learn:

  • How come a software company would be interested in embracing children at work;
  • What the advantages are of high-speed voice technology; as well as.
  • Why wearing a Viking helmet can assist with boosting openness.

Joy motivates employees. It makes them work harder and longer, and work together.

Granted you’re not the grump Scrooge of Dickensian fame, joy is a type of emotion that you want and that you love.

It seems that when you’re in good spirits and are full of happiness, you tend to enjoy life more than when you’re feeling sad for yourself. Therefore, why don’t we implement more positivity, such as joy, into our work environments?

Joy helps push people to try to find greater meaning and leave an eternal influence on the world. The thing is, joy can be a very useful emotion that triggers motivation within the business environment, where it embodies the strive to work on something that is bigger than the staff member, while being a part of a supportive group of people.

You’ll see that joyful people worker for longer periods of time and to the maximum of their capacity in order to reach those kinds of goals.

Take into consideration the difference between the Wright brothers and Samuel Pierpont Langley. Although the both of them were trying to make the first airplane, their motivations to do so deviated from one another. Langley just wanted to be famous and get money whereas the Wright brothers just wanted to experience the joy of flying.

As a result, it was the strive for joy that pushed the Wright brothers to both win and soar.

Additionally, bringing joy to the the business world acts as the foundation of your business’s culture, which assists with bringing together and forming your staff.

Whenever the author invites clients over to his software company, Menlo Innovations, he asks: Suppose half of his staff enjoys their work while the other half isn’t particularly happy. Which group of staff would the client rather work with? Obviously, they always want to work with the ones who feel joy.

Menlo’s clients inherently know that joyful staff are a lot more productive as well as committed to their work, which causes the outcome to be better.

Now that we know that joy is a way to get to newer and better goals as well as the fact that joyful staff help form a joy-driven environment, how does a joyful business actually look? Read down below in order to find out.

A flexible and fun office space means more joy overall. Nix gray cubicles; open up your space.

Most likely, working in a chilly office with no windows wouldn’t make you feel joyful.

Both the design as well as the formation of the office can have a significant impact on how your staff feel whenever they’re at work.

The author witnessed this firsthand when he had remodelled the offices at his company. They were big, open spaces where employees could work next to one another as well as together. That kind of open space is then filled with conversation and laughter between the staff members. It looks similar to the atmosphere at a restaurant.

Menlo ensured that the space would be simple to remodel in the future as well. Electrical wiring was made to fit that exact purpose and the furniture in it was lightweight so that it wouldn’t be difficult to move around.

It’s important for the writer to have this kind of flexibility since it helps differentiate this business from the usual corporate offices, where the work is typically monotone. Letting employees play around and have some fun builds a calm, yet very creative space.

Additionally, being able to move the space around lets employees be much more productive. At Menlo, the staff have the complete freedom to move furniture around as they please. There are times when they move them so that they’re seated together and then there are other times where things are just moved around to generate change as that’s always beneficial as well.

Whenever you alter the location that you sit at, you completely alter your point of view. Just take a moment and think about it. Suppose you spent forever at your desk trying to work through a complicated issue, so you just get up to go to the kitchen. As soon as you open up the fridge, you get the answer!

This is why, by allowing employees to move around freely, Menlo sets up an environment that’s more productive.

Open, direct communication is a crucial component of a joyful business culture.

Open workplaces come with another advantage. They assist in the progress of communication which then builds up joy.

This is crucial since having the opportunity to communicate more directly is a really good way to steer clear of confusion and any unneeded conflicts within the office space.

Menlo utilizes the technique, high-speed voice technology, which in non-Menlo wording means “open and direct communication”.

This system has a lot of advantages. First of all, it helps bring forward active listening. Due to the fact that staff can hear a lot of conversations all around them since it’s an open work environment, anyone can join in on a discussion should they have something to add or if they just wanted to ask a question.

However, this method ends up going against a typical habit. At the majority of businesses, arguments are usually dealt with via proxy, meaning it would go through another person or through email. Conversations that go through proxy typically find that it’s simpler to become passive-aggressive or to misunderstand the one that the conversation is at, which could result in conflict.

Direct conversations help you steer clear of conflict. If you can speak directly as well as in person, you help bring forward sociability. Additionally, because you are able to see the other person’s body language, you have a better understanding of what they’re truly trying to say.

On top of that, having conversations lets staff work on building their relationships, which ultimately helps boost productivity.

The staff at Menlo work in pairs together. Every pair is given one computer, thus clear communication is a must.

This type of pairing method comes with a learning part, too. Every member has got something to teach the other member, so each member also has something to learn.

However, it doesn’t stop there! In order to make sure that relationships are created throughout the whole team, each week the pairings are redone, which offers staff the opportunity to create new relationships.

Shared habits and time together, walks in the park or informal gatherings, help create collective joy.

The majority of families have got some rituals or traditions like Sunday dinner or birthdays. We are also fond of holding onto artifacts such as photographs since they help tell stories about things that have happened in the past. Both those rituals and artifacts establish our family culture.

This is also true when it comes to business. If you’d like to boost joy within your business, you need to select your artifacts and rituals with care.

This is why Menlo’s leadership made rituals that are aimed at developing and an open and joyful environment. Instead of having normal meetings, they’ve got a daily standup at 10am, which is when every staff member tells everyone what they’re currently working on.

In order to make the environment more joyful, they pass around a horned Viking helmet. Therefore, whenever it’s time for a pair to let the team know, they each hold onto a horn so that they hold the helmet as they are sharing.

A bit later in the day, around 3pm, the whole team takes a walk together in the ritual, walkies. This lets staff members stretch out their legs while get some air. During this time, they also talk with one another, thus strengthening relationships with the team.

On top of that, the business depends on a show and tell ritual, which is essentially a form of the classic game, but with a catch. The team that’s completed a project has to watch while a client tries to say everything that the team’s done. This ritual helps make sure that both clients and Menlo staff are on the same wavelength.

Another crucial part of Menlo’s culture is the work authorization board. That workboard shows the jobs that every pair is in charge of. This visual has a big part in eliminating conflict by getting rid of the uncertainty associated with who is doing what.

Therefore, just as you learn about someone based on the photos that they’ve got hanging, rituals and artifacts within a workplace can show and help emulate business values.

Get your team involved in hiring candidates that are joyful; skills are good, but attitude is better.

A joyful business environment is filled with strong, close to familial bonds. That brings forward the question: how should you bring in new members to become a part of your family?

The most crucial part is to make sure that the interview process is in line with your base values.

This means that it’s much more important to hired depending on personal traits, openness, and joy than based on the actual skills.

Whenever candidates submit an application to work at Menlo, they get to see a tour of the office as a part of the actual interview. If they like the shared workspace, there’s a greater chance that there’s a match between both the candidate and the business.

This may mean that the business has had to pass on some bright workers that love their own space, but that’s really not the end of the word since in order for there to be a joyful environment, the whole has to be bigger than the sum of all of the pieces that comprise it.

Elementary skills, which is the ability to play with others well, is yet another crucial part of Menlo’s personality pushed interview process.

In order to figure out if candidates have decent kindergarten skills, Menlo brings in all of the candidates for a mass interview, which is often called the extreme interview, that’s got several interactions with Menlo staff and one another. This process examines the candidates’ ability to interact joyfully with other people.

Another crucial part of the hiring process is allowing staff to become a part of it.

At Menlo’s serious interviews, two candidates work as a pair while a Menlo staff member watches. Therefore, every candidate works in three various pairs with three various staff-observers. After the interview, staff members evaluate their candidates all together.

First impressions do matter, therefore don’t forget that whenever you’re hiring. If you would like to have a joyful business environment, spirit should be one of the first things that a candidate should feel when coming into the workplace.

Creating a safe working environment is crucial in supporting experimentation and innovation.

Would you be able to be full of joy if you’re in a pitch-black room and yet you’re scared of the dark? I highly doubt it.

This is exactly why making a safe and comfortable work environment is crucial if you’d like your staff to try out new things, offer their opinions, and experiment with things with ease.

If the fear of failing is removed, staff members won’t be afraid to take more risks, which will result in bigger innovation.

It’s very crucial to feel safe instead of be safe. Whenever people are focused on being safe, they’ll be cautious. However, those that already feel safe will have the courage to try out different experiments.

At Menlo, staff members feel safe since they know that they won’t be criticized for their failures. This gives them the freedom to make risks.

This approach has helped create some neat innovations, like Menlo babies. The business made the decision to see what would occur if a staff member who just had a baby, brought that baby into work each day.

Getting a baby in the office turned out to be a great match for the business's joyful environment. The unexpected result was that Menlo’s “baby-friendly” environment ended up becoming an interesting selling point whenever they made pitches to possible clients.

However, even though experimenting can, at times, create an outcome of noteworthy innovation, it can naturally also lead to failure. This is why it’s crucial to let ideas fail quicker instead of allowing a failing project to continue on, which wastes both time and money.

For example, Menlo’s Ford Everest project tried to put together 30 various platforms into one Web-based system. Due to how big the project was, everyone wanted to see it go through. Therefore, the business kept putting in money into it in order to make it work. In the end, they shelled out $400 million on it.

The thing is, though, the project was headed for failure from the very beginning. At the end of it, Menlo even had to spend an extra $200 million just so that they could end the project. If they had let this effort fail quicker, it would’ve saved them a significant amount of time and money.

Final summary

The main takeaway:

In business, boosting a joyful business environment, one that is based on openness and transparency, pushes both innovation and productivity. Putting everything in parallel to joy will cause staff members to be happier, which then motivates them to work harder in return.

Practical advice:

When you open up your workplace, you open up minds.

Physically getting rid of walls efficiently brings down the walls that can typically encase ideas. Therefore, get rid of the gray cubicles or the unneeded offices and allow the team to create their collective workplace in order to promote collaboration as well as open conversation.