How to Make Your Company More Enjoyable

“We have three innate psychological needs—competence, autonomy, and relatedness. When those needs are satisfied, we’re motivated, productive, and happy.”
― Daniel H. PinkDrive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

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Daniel Pink pictured alongside his best selling book Drive.

As Pink explains in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, there are a few innate psychological needs that must be filled to generate satisfactory and enjoyable work.  However, once those psychological needs are filled, what separates the most enjoyable companies from those that only provide above average levels of satisfaction and happiness?  This blog post will explore and try to answer the question: “How do I make my company more enjoyable for everyone?”

“A Day Without Laughter is a Day Wasted”

At Pablow, doing things in a way that is enjoyable is one of our key tenants that motivate our actions.  Even if we are on a roller coaster ride as a start up in the insurance industry, we recognize that the journey should still remain fun.

Why do we value being happy, laughing a lot, and enjoying our work?  Enjoyable work, happiness and laughter all provide significant physical, mental and social benefits.

Laughter alone helps you feel good by releasing endorphins that fight stress and provide an almost immediate benefit.  It also helps relax you muscles for up to 45 minutes at a time, with exception of your mouth muscles, which can actually hurt if you laugh too hard.  Been there and have almost cried from laughing too hard!  Laughter improves your resistance to disease by increasing infection-fighting antibodies and immune cells and by decreasing stress hormones.  It can protect your heart by improving blood flow and blood vessel functioning.  Laughter helps dissolve disagreements between people if it’s shared and both parties agree to put their problems behind them.  It surprisingly has also been shown to help adults with short-term memory.

Put simply … you can’t afford to not have people laugh at work.  If you value your employees and their happiness, then you need to make the commitment to integrate humor and enjoyable situations into your company culture.

One great story about how humor and laughter were embraced in the company culture comes from Delta Air Lines.  A couple of years ago a frequent flyer complained to the CEO that a flight attendant was joking around in her safety briefing, which the flyer considered a very serious procedure.  Instead of apologizing, the CEO told the frequent flyer that he was sorry to see him leave the airline, because humor was a key part of their company culture and thus he stood behind his flight attendant’s right to laugh and help others laugh.  Today Delta Air Lines has further embraced this humor by incorporating it into their pre-flight safety videos that both deliver an important message and have some fun in how they present it – I’d definitely recommend taking a look.

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Delta safety videos went as far to include 80’s icon and TV star, Alf!

But What Can I Do?

So a happy, laughing, satisfied, productive and motivated workplace is great, but what can most small to medium sized companies in the vacation rental or tech industries do to embrace these values?

The first and easiest step is to begin to laugh at yourself, and model the kind of behavior that you want everyone else to embrace.  You can also find friends, hire employees, and build professional relationships within your community with people that you enjoy being around.

Teams can be more enjoyable if you push everyone to be spontaneous and encouraging of humor.  This can be as complex as surprising the team with tickets to a comedy show next Friday evening or as simple as telling jokes as you leave the office and sharing funny videos with the rest of your team.  As funny as jokes can be, make sure to keep them positive and not a roast of anyone in particular, as that could have just the opposite effect desired.

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Don’t conform to typical networking rules – ask daring and novel questions that encourage interesting conversation and funny stories.

At networking events or job interviews ask people what they enjoy doing instead of about their job and encourage them to tell you a funny story, but you should also be prepared with a funny story of your own to share with them.

Laughter is Contagious

Regardless of how you make your organization more enjoyable for your staff, laughter and happiness is contagious.  Try just one of the tactics mentioned above and let us know how it works for your organization.  We’re interested to learn how it goes!

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Live VRMA Blog: October 17th

It’s the second day of VRMA’s 2016 national conference in Phoenix, AZ and the Pablow team continues to enjoy themselves and find success.

MORNING KEYNOTE

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Keynote speaker, Dr. Jonathan Fader, provides a Pele quote to introduce VRMA members to the premise of what it means to be an athlete

The morning keynote was delivered by Dr. Jonathan Fader, sports psychologist for the New York Mets and author of the book Life as Sport.  Among the key messages Dr. Fader encouraged the audience to embrace during his speech were:

  1. When we experience stress we can approach it with a growth mindset and see it as a challenge or with a fixed mindset and see it as a threat, which is incredibly negative for our mental performance.
  2. You can only control so much.  Many things will be out of your control, so you must simply do your best and not worry about the rest.
  3. Find what intrinsically motivates you and continue to use those motivating factors to ensure you are always focused and in the best possible mindset for the moment.  Dr. Fader urged us to choose among the following 16 factors to determine what most motivated us.

BREAKOUT SESSIONS

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The breakout sessions were all well attended and provided vacation rental managers and vendors with valuable industry insights and tools

In addition to the keynote speakers all attendees and exhibitors had the chance to attend four valuable educational seminars and sessions covering a variety of topics affecting the vacation rental industry and vacation rental managers.  Some of the breakout sessions that Pablow employees attended helped them better understand how to better leverage social media, the features of travel insurance, vacation rental trends, and the current state of the vacation rental industry.  These sessions provided a lot of statistics that will help Pablow continue to refine our go to market strategy and ideal insurance customer.

EXHIBITING

Similar to the session last night, “Putting with Pablow” was a huge success again on the second day of the conference, tempting both golfers and non-golfers alike to test their skills and have some fun at the same time.  In total, more than 30 people earned entry into the drawing for the $150 Amazon gift card, and Pablow had the chance to talk with many of these industry professionals to determine if our technology and insurance solutions would work well for their companies.

One particularly exciting story comes from a man from the Northeast United States with strict rental conditions who does not want to risk having customers cancel and losing out on valuable revenue.  When we explained exactly how Pablow is offering technology to the industry he exclaimed, “This is exactly what we need!” to his nearby wife.  It’s these kind of relationships and exclamations that brought Pablow to VRMA in the first place and exhilarate our team!

ENDING THOUGHT

There were multiple times today when I was unsure if talking to someone would be beneficial for our company or worth my time, but more often than not building relationships with these people turned out to be the most valuable.  The lesson I’ve learned is not to underestimate a person’s abilities and build as many valuable relationships as possible, because you never know what they can do for you.

SIDE NOTE

Dylan’s age has come into question multiple times this conference, with one woman guessing that he’s only 16 years old.  Does anyone have a birth certificate for this kid?