Happy Employees, A Roasted Chicken and Word of Mouth Marketing.

If you hang out here often you know this:

I’m a happiness junkie.

I believe (and studies actually back up those beliefs) that all of us feel better, work more passionately and maybe even live a bit longer if we pursue things that make us happy.

We start out understanding the pursuit of happy.

Whenever I get a chance to hug Megan’s cute little two-year old son Patrick, I take it. He actually gives off a certain happy energy you can actually embrace. I love it.

Somewhere along the journey, we grownups get a bit cranky.

Maybe we become afraid of making mistakes. Or getting hurt. Our fears start taking over. And I believe we forget to give ourselves permission to be happy.

We had a discussion at Brains on Fire Monday morning about our personal passions and the things we find ourselves talking about. Several folks mentioned the grocery chain, Publix.

Yup. Publix.

It’s a nice, clean chain of stores but more than anything, it’s place where I believe employees are given permission to be happy, to have fun.

I was in line at the deli there the other night. I was a rainy night and everyone was dragging in umbrellas and hungry kids. This young lady came up beside me in her Publix uniform. There was a lot of friendly banter with her co-workers about how she was finally taking a break that day. She laughingly promised to make it short since everyone was so busy. As we both stood in line, she reached down into the deli and picked up a package of roasted chicken that was not folded to her satisfaction. Then she carefully refolded it and proudly placed it back on the deli shelf.

I said, “You know, a lot of people wouldn’t take the time to do that during their break.

She said with a smile, “It’s my job. Besides, I don’t want someone to get home with a cold chicken.”

I realized at that moment that I had just witnessed the role that happiness plays at work.

I saw a direct connect between her happy banter with her co-workers and her willingness to make someone else happy with a warmer dinner when they got home.

So many of us are willing to advocate on behalf of the Publix brand because of the energy that embraces us when we see store clerks, deli workers and managers having fun at work. Happy employees lead to happy customers. And that “shared happy” leads to positive word of mouth.

How can you create more happiness at work this week? How will you have more fun?

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