I tend to be a happy person and truly believe that keeping your employees happy helps to keep them productive and engaged.  When we do leadership training, one of the things we reference is a Towers Perrin study about the difference in profitability between organizations with engaged employees and those where they are not.  The difference is significant, but the question that I always get is “What makes employees happy?”

One time that was not a happy moment, was when I was first starting out in HR and supported the negotiations process with our union.  Our final session lasted 26 hours straight and ended at 10:00 a.m.  Afterwards, my boss made it clear that we were expected to return to the office and finish the work day.    He then proceeded to keep tabs on us the remainder of the day to make certain we didn’t leave.  Obviously that wasn’t one of my more productive days and I wasn’t particularly fond of him after that (or beforehand for that matter).

So how do you know what to do to keep your employees happy?  Is it enough to add a ping pong table and put beer in the fridge?  Those things don’t hurt, but they are far from being the real answer.  That’s why I was so excited to find the Losada line.

Marcial Losada is a psychologist and business consultant who determined that it takes 2.9013 positive interactions to each negative interaction to make a corporate team successful.  For maximum performance, the ratio is six positive to every negative interaction.

Here’s something fun to try:  Count how many positive and negative interactions that you have with your staff today and compare them to the Losada Line.  You might just be surprised.

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