I just returned from 8 days at Disney World. I’ve been trying to draw a great HR or employment law lesson from my trip to share with my readers. This is what I’ve come up with.
Everyone at Disney is happy. But it does not seem to be forced corporate happiness. It’s simply part of the culture. You may think, “If I got to go to work everyday with Mickey Mouse and Cinderella I’d be happy too.” I agree that part of the happiness has to do with the environment. But, I don’t think it’s necessarily the Florida sun or seeing Mickey that caused a janitor to stop, get down on his knees, and talk to my 14-month-old son until he got a smile.
I know your manufacturing plant isn’t the Magic Kingdom. But, it doesn’t mean that you can’t strive to find the key to your employees’ happiness. Happy employees work harder, complain less, and are more productive. Maybe it’s a bonus program, maybe it’s a randomly catered lunch, maybe it’s a manager giving a heart-felt thank you for a job well done. Whatever it is, you should search for that bit of magic that will make your employees happy and want to come to work everyday. The return you will receive will be greater than whatever the cost in time or money.