Many companies struggle because their cultures get in the way — too many layers and silos, too many colleagues who prefer to stay in their comfort zones, bask in their KPIs, and resist new ways of connecting and working.

HBR by July 17, 2019

People intrinsically seek joy. And joy connects people more powerfully than almost any other human experience. Success sparks joy. In any team environment, joy arises from a combination of harmony, impact, and acknowledgment — all of which business leaders can engender in their organizations.

Harmony. On winning teams, each player has a distinct role in achieving the goal.

Impact. Team harmony leads to impact, which further fuels joy.

Acknowledgment. Great coaches instruct their players to, when they score, immediately point to the teammates who created the scoring opportunity.

Here are some specific steps leaders can take to increase joy at work:

Set the agenda. Make the experience of joy an explicit corporate purpose.

Set the stage. Staff your new digital/culture programs with true cross-unit, cross-silo teams, where joint teamwork delivers maximum impact, shared success, and fun.

Set the tone. Encourage and celebrate individual and corporate social impact efforts. Authentically express more of the joy you personally experience in your role. Joy begets joy.

Article recommended by RizeClub member Joao Francisco.

Regular (virtual) team calls, both in smaller teams as well as large continent calls offer a platform to create unity, share activities within departments, celebrate contributions, create awareness of succeses. Curate the content, and make sure everyone takes the stage. It might feel “scary” in the beginning, but peers will be proud, sparking an upwards circle. Joost d’Hooghe

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