You can find many tips, strategies, techniques, etc. to employ in the workplace with the staff in mind. All are designed to bolster a staff’s productivity and yield positive results. Depending on your particular work environment, some can be successful; others, not so much.
While I don’t consider myself a guru in staff ascendancy, allow me to share one key to a successful workplace that I have found to be rewarding for the staff environment where I work (a library).
The key? Laughter.
If you walk into the staff break area at our library, you’ll be greeted by the following sign:
This sign represents the way in which our staff interacts on a regular basis. Laughter. Humor. Playfulness. Bufoonery. Whatever you want to call it, lightheartedness helps to keep things in perspective and make all those hours we spend together something to look forward to each day. Don’t get me wrong. We can set our nose to the grindstone and focus on serious productivity with the best of them. However, a shared perspective of we’re-in-this-together-cheerfulness flows beneath it all. In a nutshell, we are a family. We laugh together, cry together, rant together, struggle together, succeed together, fail together, get tired together, celebrate together, endure together. And through it all, the smile keeps us going.
A shared family-like joy in the job goes a long way. Skills can be taught over time. A smile can be shared during a quick pass in the hallway. Both have their benefits.
I have added them up, and over the last five weeks I have participated in 23 meetings. Twenty-three. Do the math and that comes out to an average of nearly one meeting per workday. Of them all, one of the most beneficial was meeting #23 that I had yesterday afternoon–and it never appeared on my calendar.
The “meeting” was an unplanned spontaneous conversation with a fellow faculty member that took place in a parking lot. What started out as an ordinary exchange of greetings turned into a valuable discourse about a topic of interest (I learned) to both of us and of importance to our institution. A short 15 minutes later we were parting company with great ideas and tangible action items to carry out.
Boom. Just like that. Productivity. And it was not on my schedule when I woke up that morning.
The moral of the story? Don’t underestimate the value of impromptu meetings. They may be the most productive things that you never see coming.