How happiness is important to businesses?
In early nineties, when the IT industry was picking up and new IT businesses were mushrooming, one of my colleague jumped in the fray to start his own company in Hyderabad. The lure was primarily get into this sunshine business and make money. He raised a lot of money to get an office, computers, setup an office in US and hired a lot of people for the business he got.
The business started off very well. He could get a lot of good employees who in turn brought more business.
Things started changing in couple of years when he expanded second time and raised more capital. Pressure to maintain margins and get new business and face growing competition started taking a toll on him. He started putting pressure on his team members and lost his cool very often.
He was very quick to replace anyone who he felt was not aligned to his thinking or was expensive as per market trends. Very soon, attrition started hitting him in a big way. His mental stress started showing on his health. He was hospitalized for hypertension for a while and during this time, he lost more grip on his business. The growth of his business started tapering and it became negative. He never created his own backup and decisions were struck in his absence.
Having enough of all of this, he finally decided to sell off his business. With whatever money he could get, finally he sold off his company and took a sabbatical. When I met him few months after the sale of the company, he
appeared very easy and happy.
“ Unhappy and Disengaged employees are far less productive
than the happy ones“
I asked him how he felt after selling his company. He replied “ It appeared that I am in a jail and can never come out. It was getting too suffocating. I never enjoyed my business because I never liked what I was doing. I started it to make money, but soon realized that making money is only possible if you like what you do. I also realized that I am doing injustice to my staff. I hired them and I was unable to give them a career.
Selling off the company now gives them a better hope of a career which they could never get under me.”
When I asked, what he plans to do next, “I want to open a school where I can educate needy children. I will make far lesser money, but from inside my heart, I like doing it. I am sure, I will do better.”
Many years later I met him again in Delhi. He had come to receive an award for his NGO, which devoted for education of children from underprivileged society. He was happy & had done great. He created his mark in the field and was respected by his community.
An unhappy and stressed leader would not be able to give growth to his organization. In most cases, unhappy and stressed leaders end up bringing down their businesses impacting the future of several of their employees and
On the other hand, unhappy and disengaged employees are far less productive
than the happy ones. I would dedicate next few blogs to emphasize upon the need for every business to improve the happiness and engagement of their employees to get real financial benefits. I have been experimenting myself with
several methods to crack the code and have now a great deal of understanding on how this can be done.