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Monica Wofford, CSP, is a leadership development expert and author of Contagious Leadership and newly released, Make Difficult People Disappear. This is interesting. An article on a new book that tells employers happy employees will help them make more money. The premise, says Dr. Nelson, a clinical psychologist, best selling author and business trial consultant. “When employees feel that the company takes their interest to heart, then the employees will take company interests to heart.” However, my question is won’t those same happy employees have just as much probability of becoming complacent, staying longer than they should in jobs they might not like or perform well, just because the benefits are great? Long term loyalty and productivity are NOT the same things.

The article is careful to state that this may sound fluffy (just a tad!) and that serious business minded folks are behind this idea, sighting companies such as Apple and Proctor and Gamble and Starbuck who appear to operate on this philosophy. However, what it seems to miss is the need for there to be just as strong a set of leadership skills and those using them, as the need for happy people running around tickled that they get more time off and are cared about.

For this philosophy to work in your organization:

        Make sure there is a clear set of rewards and consequences for performance

        Provide equitable distribution of those rewards to those who perform highly. Simply compassion to people will not motivate all people. In fact, for some, it will keep the poor performers around longer.

        Pay attention to what makes WHO happy. Commander preferences WILL see this as fluffy. Organizer preferences may want to know what they did to make YOU so happy. Relaters will love the people focus, but they are often not high initiative performers who will see this as motivation to kick it into higher gear and Entertainer preferences will love the attention but not necessarily get the message that to get more they need to repeat this behavior that was rewarded.

Take caution. Happy employees are important, yes. Happy and skilled leaders are necessary, indeed. Happy, loyal, AND productive employees is what will produce more profits. Without the productivity piece, you may simply be producing more problems.

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