You can make your workplace ‘happy’

shutterstock_124097521My Sametime (IBM internal instant messaging tool) status says ‘Let’s interact’ as I feel the more we connect the more productive we become. I never liked the plain old vanilla ‘Available.’ I see the green button, I know you are available. I also like what Tim Collins, Director, HR Talent, Development & Resources, IBM and my manager has as his ST status, ‘How can I help you?’ In this era of virtual connectivity, the more genuine human emotions we express, the better it is for all of us. It goes a long way in bringing people closer in the world ‘w i d e’ web.

Last week, someone, (I will not disclose the name, though I am tempted to) reached out to me for some support on one of the initiatives they are working on. I was busy, but I am cognizant that it is my personal responsibility to help others. And, that is one of IBM’s values too, “Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships.” We spent 45 minutes over the phone and then it snowballed into a series of connects (Sametime chats, calls, meetings, IBM SmartCloud et al). Throughout the process, I hand-held the person through tools, usage and advice. This went on for a few days, but not even once, I was thanked, which made me wonder, if I should step back? We, in IBM, follow the culture of ‘thank you’ and recognition. So, I continued to support, but I was unhappy.

Today, I read an internal blog post by Mary Barton, Vice President, Workforce Engagement and Analytics, IBM about how one statement of compassion got her to respond to this ‘one’ chat request, while she was buried under work. The message said: “Mary, pardon the interruption.” The way we conduct ourselves brings people closer to us. The way we say thank you makes them feel good. It is all about being human! Now, I know how to reach out to Mary! #wink.

So next time, you interact virtually or in person, understand that others’ time and efforts are as important as yours and the need for human emotions goes beyond all boundaries. The secret sauce to success is how others around us perceive us and the value we create for themTweet: The secret sauce to success is how others perceive us and the value we create for them #socialglamor #socialHRsuccess. And, that is an important tenet of being social and open. ‘We’ create and sustain the social culture at the workplace. Make it better for yourself and others.

Thank you for reading this piece. I would be interested in knowing your thoughts around relationships in the workplace and how it impacts employee engagement.

Edited by: Vanitha Poojary


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9 thoughts on “You can make your workplace ‘happy’

  1. Rama April 14, 2014 at 5:42 pm Reply

    Owsm…! I always wanted to say What You jst said..! (:Y)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elizabeth April 14, 2014 at 10:23 pm Reply

    This is very good advice and thoughts to share. Thank you!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anna Mindelöf April 16, 2014 at 12:23 am Reply

    Compassion is is Everything. I am working with the same thing as you are. I am into creating happiness in Life and in workplaces will make us so much more productive. Also adding Compassion to this piece will make the workplaces HUMAN as it should be.

    Thanks for this blog, good stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Khalid Raza April 16, 2014 at 12:24 pm Reply

      Thank you Anna for your kind words. You said, you are working with the same thing – please feel free to share your stuff with us, if available in public.


  4. vanitha April 16, 2014 at 11:55 pm Reply

    Never hurts to say thank you. As always, good points to ponder khalid 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] not just leaders, all of us play a great part in creating the happy culture within our organizations. So are you […]


  6. Yetty July 10, 2014 at 8:13 pm Reply

    This is piece is a reminder that when we strip ourselves of everything we have achieved, there is something that is fundamental to everyone; our humanity. The human in us wants to feel appreciated and loved (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs also comes to mind here). Very good piece Khalid


    • Khalid Raza July 12, 2014 at 1:32 pm Reply

      Very aptly put Yetty. Thank you. Deep inside all of us is an angel which always wants to come out but our busy minds and distracted vision keeps us entangled into things which are not that important. I recall how impatient I used to be but now I know that people are more important than tasks. More often we focus on tasks and that’s where we make an unhappy environment.
      Thank you for your kind and useful comment Yetty. I appreciate you taking out time to read and share your perspective.


  7. […] Recommended: You can make your workplace happy. […]


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