How do you build a happy workplace?  Typical team-building activities, flex-time, event tickets, free pizza on Fridays, a wilderness-survival course? I suggest a different goal: Create a “winning” workplace instead of a “happy” one.  If you build a winning workplace – including shared sacrifice, accomplishment and reward – you’ll also have a happy one.  You’ll retain only those people, at all levels, who are happy when they’re being very productive, winning and being rewarded.

If you focus on “happy,” you’ll only create an unproductive organization based on begging and bribery.

To read the rest of this article from the Business Journal of Jacksonville, see: Build a winning workplace, not just a happy one

Most of us think of “happiness” in terms of “what will they give me?”  But getting paid all that you want and having a good time working only when it’s convenient aren’t the reasons your customers are paying you.  They want results and service.

Outstanding performance will become a test of whether specific team-building activities and rewards are paying off.

You’re not looking for people who are happy only when they can hang out with friends or when they’re doing only what they prefer.  You want people who celebrate when there’s an accomplishment, not just because it’s Friday.

You’re also looking for people who develop camaraderie by feeding off accomplishment; who become more productive working with other good people.

Don’t bother with academic questions like whether it’s better to be an approachable, exuberant leader or a distant one.  Debates stimulated by sociology research or individual preferences won’t help you.  There is no one-style or ideal model of a successful leader. Become the best one of your type of leader.

You don’t need to be a party animal to create a winning team, but you do need to be successful, to foster success for others and to appreciate and reward them – no matter what your style is.  Do that and the best people will be eager to stay.