One of the world’s leading human resources and management consultants, Management Intelligence Consulting, says watching Mamma Mia, posing like Peter Pan, getting your car washed and wearing nice undies can be a crucial factor in getting businesses through the recession.
“We need every advantage we can gain in the current economic environment, no matter how frivolous, so whatever makes you feel good, whatever makes colleagues laugh – whether it’s juvenile fun or Radio 4 humour – is crucial to surviving the recession; a skip in your step is infectious,” says Fran Tindall, Director of Management Intelligence Consulting.
“Leaders in a business can infect the mood and productivity of their teams with their own mood.
“While we are not suggesting they should be taking the recession lightly, studies have shown that a leader’s anxiety can subdue attention and energy – and if prolonged this can sabotage work relationships and hamper work performance by diminishing the brain’s ability to process information and respond effectively.
“On the other hand, a good laugh or an upbeat mood often enhances the neural abilities crucial for doing good work.
“How many times do we hear the phrase ‘business should be fun’, and how little fun was it in 2008? The answer lies in having a laugh – it’s not going to turn the economy round, but it means the working day will be more fun and, as a result, possibly even more productive.
“We heard of one company owner who put a temp on reception and without warning dragged everybody into a conference room, opened a few bottles of wine and played the movie Mamma Mia; he said the energy, get-up-and-go and generated camaraderie helped fire up his staff for days.
“A bounce in your step can also put a bounce in your mental approach. And that bounce can be provoked by something as simple as washing your car or having a laugh rowing round the office on your chair.
“Laughing and having fun can produce hormones that reduce stress and boost antibodies that fight illness, and make people feel more positive and more tolerant of stressful situations.
“People who are having a laugh draw others in, and can be a crucial element of team-building.
“But having fun or feeling good need not be just about having a hoot in the office.
“The smallest things can generate positive thoughts and feelgood.”
Here are ten ideas to promote feelgood that Fran says are worth exploring in or on the way to the office:
1. Get your car washed. It’ll look great and you’ll feel good.
2. Win an eBay auction for something you really want but costs only £3.99. You’re a winner.
3. Say something like ‘wow, you look good today’ to a colleague. Promote a glow in somebody.
4. Wear really nice underwear – blokes too – and make yourself feel special and desirable.
5. Do something silly: “I defy anybody not to laugh if they’re looking at somebody posing like Peter Pan, hands on hips with a pout,” says Fran.
6. Play Twister.
7. Start a silly email trail – pick your moment, though…
8. Make yourself take breaks – and do something fun or feelgood when you do.
9. Save a favourite tune on your PC or phone, and play it when you can. Don’t be afraid of some solo dancing or foot tapping at your desk.
10. Circulate your joke of the day – either round the coffee machine or to colleagues via email.
“These points may sound flippant and frivolous, but just think about how upbeat and energised you can be after a funny or feelgood movie – you simply want to get up and do something,” said Fran.
Management Intelligence helps maximise talent, productivity and business success, by enhancing the performance delivery of individuals, teams and organisations, driving improved profitability through better business processes and developing employee engagement.
It has offices in London and the Middle East, and is part of All About Brands (AAB), the brands and marketing services group chaired by Allan Biggar, former Global CEO of Burson-Marsteller Corporate and Financial.