It was a hot summer day. After over 10 years of working hard in the restoration industry and working his way up, the newest project manager went to his vehicle to head home after a long stressful day. He turned the air conditioner on and a flurry of paper shreds blew about the vehicle. This is how he was greeted by the other more experienced project managers. The quick-witted newbie planned a swift retaliation. His go-to was a thermal fogger. He fogged the vehicle creating an illusion of smoke, recorded it and sent the video to his mischievous attackers, leading them to believe that the innocent prank resulted in his car catching on fire. When all was said and done, there was a lot of laughter.

In the intense world of restoration, details matter. We are moving quickly and sometimes exhausted; minutes make a difference. I highly recommend occasional laughter and frequent smiles to deal with the stress and pace. I have the good fortune of working with someone for 14 years who makes me smile no matter how stressed or grumpy I feel. It is like a magic wand to hear “Good Morning!” from his mouth as he greets you with genuine joy and enthusiasm in his inflection and body language.

Just as bad attitudes are contagious; good attitudes are also contagious. Smiles create more smiles and laughter creates more laughter. A happy team makes happy customers.

Do you want to work hard, be given opportunity to succeed and have a meaningful impact on the lives of others in a happy place?  

Create a happy place…a happy place to work. Put on a big smile while you read this list:

  1. Hire happy people. People who are happy spread cheer. Although someone may be nervous, part of the art of interviewing is to help a person relax. Ask questions that would bring a smile to one’s face and show enthusiasm. What do you like to do in your spare time? What was your favorite thing about your previous job?
  2. It starts at the top. If you are a grumpy owner or manager, take a look in the mirror. You will set the pace for the others. Many of us have rolled our eyes at the complaint, “He walked right by me and didn’t even say good morning!” The real complaint is the spread of misery. Vision a grump, jaunting past a desk, head down, no eye contact, and replace it with a vision of a spirited step, head held high, big smile, and an enthusiastic GOOD MORNING…Have a great day! A smile and a few kind words can create much joy.
  3. Keep things in perspective. In the world of restoration, cars will get dented, a vase will get broke, and an air mover will be left behind. There is so much involved in managing the intricacies of a restoration company. I was fortunate to have had a mentor who taught me to put things on a meter to gage their level of importance. I use my imaginary meter every day to control my reaction to the multitude of things that happen daily. Don’t focus on the bad things; focus on the good. Today, in the middle of a class, our water cooler broke. I smiled and got bottled water for everyone. It was a good day.
  4. Laugh at yourself.  We can’t take ourselves too seriously. Laughter is truly an amazing medicine.

We are living in a stressful world. We are experiencing rapid change and evolution; we must do our work well and manage change. At times, we have a dirty job; we have challenging jobs, and sometimes we work with little sleep.

Do you have a happy organization? Ask around.

Think about today’s challenges and if happy really matters.

  • Employee Recruitment
  • Employee Retention and Engagement
  • Customer Service
  • Building Relationships

In closing, worry a little, keep your meter calibrated, and stay happy.