15. February 2013 15:14
Director of Happiness? Yes, it really is my job title.
How did this role come to be? Well, that’s a long story.
I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher when I first entered college but when a professor asked our first semester music appreciation class; how many of you are here to be a teacher and everyone in the room raised their hand, well I knew it was time to change majors – welcome to business 101.
My career has taken me down many paths over the years; I have worked in hotels, sales, non-profits, waitressed, and even worked for a former congressman. In the end, I determined that that it was really providing a “WOW” for a customer or co-worker that brought me the most satisfaction. Landing a job at Thogus as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO came by chance and boy am I glad it did. Although I was hired in as the EA, it didn’t take me long to realize that I was going to be able to incorporate all of my past experiences along with everything I ever wanted to do in a job and use it at Thogus.
It started small; dressing up the bulletin boards, writing thank you on a white-board located on the plant floor to acknowledge something an employee did that was appreciated, we even had a family tree that included a leaf with every employee name. Below is a list of some of the activities we have incorporated in our culture:
- Breakfast with Santa for employee children 10 and under;
- Birthday Cards for Employee Children 17 and under (includes a gift card);
- Birthday Cards for Employees (include movie tickets);
- Employee Christmas Party held at Thogus (we shut our plant down, decorate, and have catered food along with a great time);
- Community Outreach (food drives, blood drives, pet supply drives);
- Monthly communication meetings that include recognition awards, length of service awards and raffles (gas cards, Cleveland sport tickets, restaurant gift certificates); and
- Thogus T-Shirt Fridays (wear your favorite sport team or Thogus T-shirt).
In late 2012 I was a participant in a training class held by a young man who asked the question: where do you want to be 5 years, 10 years, 20 years from now? It dawned on me that being the Director of Employee Happiness would be pretty cool. Showing up to a job that cares about each employee as an individual and acknowledging it in simple, beautiful ways is a dream job so I said it out loud… I would like to be the Director of Employee Happiness.
Several weeks after that training class my year-end review was being done and my boss handed me a box. It contained business cards with my new title…Director of Happiness. I am a firm believer that thoughts become things.
Written By: Lisa Lehman