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When was the last time you high-fived someone at work? Or burstinto song on your way to lunch?

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Those questions caught my eye on LinkedIn recently, part of apost about creating a culture of joy in the workplace.

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Credit unions do noble work, but like every other workplace inthe U.S., most struggle to maintain a positive work environment.Repetitive processing work just isn't very stimulating. Front-lineemployees hear complaints all day long, especially those in thecall center. Even the folks in marketing, who are assumed to spendtheir day playing with pretty colors, struggle to find yet anothercreative way to sell car loans.

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And don't even ask the folks tasked with compliance to ratetheir workplace joy.

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According to Forbes and a study by Accenture, the topfour reasons people leave their job are:

  • Lack of recognition (43%);
  • Negative internal politics (35%);
  • Don't like their boss (31%); and,
  • Don't feel empowered (31%)

Now imagine how you could combat those four reasons good talentleaves your organization with more joy in the workplace.Recognizing the efforts of others usually involves fun and bringsjoy. The fastest way to stop negative office politics is to killthem with kindness. And happy bosses who love their jobs aredifficult to dislike, and find it much easier to empowerothers.

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So how do you incorporate more joy into your shop? Start withthe man or woman in the mirror and become a joyful leader. Here aresome tips:

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Resist the urge to check your email first thing in the morning.At least take the time for a short walk, a good breakfast or somesnuggle time with the kiddos first. Starting the day off on apositive note before facing the emergency du jour will make iteasier to stay positive.

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When I’m feeling down, I like to start the day by listing fivethings for which I’m thankful. It's human nature to compareourselves to those more fortunate, and that can be a greatmotivator, but comparing yourself to those less fortunate is alsoimportant. Simply having a job in today's economy is a good way tostart your list. Did you eat breakfast this morning? One in eightpeople on this planet didn't, and they probably won't have lunch,either. That bologna sandwich in the break room doesn't seem so badnow, does it? Writing your list on a post-it note and sticking toyour monitor at work will foster gratitude.

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Listen to uplifting music or podcasts during your morningcommute. Avoid the news or radio shows full of negativity andsnarky put-downs. If you have access to public transportation, giveit a try. You’d be surprised how much easier it is to start yourday off on a positive note if you don't arrive at work stressed outfrom a white- knuckle freeway commute.

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Take advantage of your EAP benefit. Hopefully, that wasn't cutfrom your credit union's compensation package during the financialcrisis. Even if you don't have free access to therapy sessions, puteffort into resolving emotional issues and strained relationshipsat home.

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Live a healthier lifestyle. I remember for a few glorious monthsabout 15 years ago, I successfully eliminated from my dietprocessed food, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and everything else thatyou’d think would bring joy. The results were stunning. I was sohappy every day, all day long, without even trying, my co-workersnicknamed me “Up with People.” The human body is not a fluxcapacitor that runs on garbage. Junk in, junk out.

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Put time and resources toward fun at work. When I have lunchwith a co-worker or chit chat by the water cooler, I feel guiltyI’m not earning my paycheck. But my employees need more thancoaching and accountability.

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What are some of the ways your credit union has developed andmaintained a culture of joy? I recall one employee training daywhen my credit union included a yoga session and free shouldermassages on the agenda. Other credit unions have held officeOlympics competitions, which include a parade of departments andcompetitive events like trashcan basketball, office chair soccerand track and field events like obsolete keyboard discus.

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The possibilities are endless. So I challenge you to go forth,and spread joy in your credit union. And please share your goodideas with us and others.

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