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Director of Happiness- Lisa Lehman

by Dana Foster15. 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).

Birthday card printed from rp+m's Objet machine

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

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Comments (2) -

Annette Kramer
Annette KramerUnited States
3/5/2013 12:49:39 PM #

What a great post. It is so nice to see companies focusing on the little things. As an IT consultant, I have learned the value in the smallest gestures over the years.  Things like a hand written thank you, a cookie tray at the holiday or a well planned celebration really go a long way with employees, clients, people.  After all we are all just people that want to feel appreciated and part of a team right?! Good luck with your roll and thanks for the ideas.  I will be sure to use them as inspiration at our company. I would love to hear if any health and wellness programs are part of your role.

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Joni
JoniUnited States
12/20/2013 7:37:30 PM #

WOW!….I wanna' work here!  
I saw the story of this company on Fox 8 news today, and wish I had a "Director of Happiness" at MY place of employment!
Any part-time openings available?

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