The Year of a Mindful Career: Birthday Cakes and Happiness at Work

If you’re following my blog and articles in Forbes then you know that I write a lot about Employee Engagement. It’s the crucial element of why employees stay or not. If employees feel appreciated they will work harder and smarter and save the company boatloads of money by sticking around longer as opposed to looking for a new job.

While there are organization expectations required to establish a happy work environment, the employees need to do their part, too. It’s a win-win state of mind. But for now, I want to talk about birthday cakes.

We all want to be recognized, especially on our birthdays, but birthday cakes do not equate to employee engagement. Still, it’s one of the biggest engagement efforts out there. Now, I’m not promoting the ban of birthday cakes. Who would say no to chocolate? I’m just asking us all to think about what organizations and teams can do (or do better) to promote engagement.

If you had a choice of something that would help you feel more appreciated and happy at work, would it be a birthday cake or flex work time? Cheery felicitations or nap pods? A reminder another year has passed or a promotion? A sugar high or frequent breaks for yoga and relaxation?

It’s your choice. But the next time your team votes on what will help you stay engaged and happy, consider thoughtfully how resources might be allocated. Just saying…

Personal Challenge: What would help you feel more appreciated and happy at work? How can that become a new organizational engagement strategy?

Learn more about the Year of a Mindful Career.

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