Wednesday, April 10th 2019

Apr 10, 2019

Smile. It could save a million dollars a year.


It's instinctual, obvious, even poetic and easy to get philosophical about, but until recently we haven't had the science to prove that smiling and civility actually make a difference in workplace productivity.

Our office is tight-knit. If one person is in a bad mood, it can weigh on everyone and vis-a-versa. If one person comes in beaming and buoyant, the whole mood of the office can lift. It's in this simple shift that happens with a "hello" and a smile that teams and offices can experience a boost in productivity and overall work quality. Psychologist are now calling this metric, "civility" and being civil is everything from listening when someone speaks, to smiling and sharing in the daily "struggle".

I try and remind myself of this every day that I walk into the office. The facts, the science, give me all the more reason to share the data and the daily "hello" with my co-workers and you readers. Each time we act civil, we spark productivity, happiness, and engagement.

Some numbers*:
•The happiest employees are 180% more energized than their less content colleagues
•155%happier with their jobs
•150% happier with life
•108% more engaged
• 50% more motivated
•50% more productive

The negative effects are equally motivating. Anytime you ignore your co-worker or curtly respond to their email, you could be propagating the spread of negativity throughout the office. One study put a monetary cost of $14,000 per employee that felt the office place was uncivil.

In Christine Porath's TEDx talk, she shares the research that medical teams exposed to rudeness perform worse not only in their diagnostics, but in their procedures too. She goes on to say that this is due to the fact that the medical teams exposed to rudeness didn't then share information or seek help from their teammates. Would you ask the jerk down the hall for help? Even if he was the best surgeon in the country?

She goes on to say that companies estimate negative behavior, including looking at your cell phone while someone is talking to you, being rude, not fully listening, and telling offensive jokes, can cost an organization millions of dollars over the years.

And that's a lot of money. So. as lucky as we are to work in an office that is frequently full of laughter, it's always a good reminder to stop looking at the phone, looking at the computer, and ignoring our co-workers, let's be civil and keep #kindness trending.

*Pryce-Jones Research March, 2010

Arcana Academy is an Advertising Agency based in Los Angeles, California.

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