Project Management

Does joy at work even matter?

From the The Healthy Project Manager Blog
Matching up wellness coaching and motivational interviewing techniques with project management—along with inclusion and inspiration—is my goal.

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For some, talking about joy in your work might sound corny or might not seem important, but I believe it is something we should all consider.  Here’s why:

Think about a highly functioning sports team – when they reach a goal or win, they express joy, right?  They display camaraderie and often when there is a touchdown or other goal, they dance, hug, or at least share a high-five.  There is a connection between them, a bond – and this shared joyful experience propels them to achieve even more.

As project managers when we bring joy to our teams and projects, we create camaraderie and connections too.  Our projects are more successful, we create environments where questions are welcomed and challenges become something the team tackles and overcomes together.  Creativity flourishes in these environments.  As a team incorporating joy in our daily tasks, we appreciate our work more.  Teams doing this build a foundation for success.

Sometimes it is hard to spread joy, but joy can change culture.  An environment where there is joy also appreciates and fosters generosity.  It is proven that safety and quality improve when there is joy in the workplace.  Joyful staff appreciate the meaning in what they are doing.  Teams thrive instead of just persevere in cultures where joy and generosity abound.

Maybe someone reading this blog is skeptical that joy can do these things, but after many years in the workforce I believe joy leads to excellence and enables teams and companies to be more resilient in the face of constant change.  I'd way rather work in a place of joy, wouldn't you?

Let me know what you think about this and how you experience joy in your work! 

Posted on: December 04, 2019 06:13 PM | Permalink

Comments (16)

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Dear Lori
Interesting your reflection
Thanks for sharing

We are absolutely in agreement with: "An environment where there is joy also appreciates and fosters generosity. It is coming that safety and quality improve when there is joy in the workplace. Joyful staff appreciate the meaning in what they are doing. Teams thrive instead of just persevere in cultures where joy and generosity abound "

I am convinced that in his circle of indulgence it is up to the Project Manager to create an environment where there is joy

Thanks for sharing this and I can't agree with you more, providing joy in work environment is of utmost importance!...

not corny at all...I agree 100%

without joy what's the point !?!?

I agree. What are some tips you all use to help spread joy in your teams?

Joy is super important. I try to do this in small increments rather than one big delivery of joyful moments. Once when I introduced myself I said "I'm responsible for cost, scope, schedule, notes and jokes!".

I got a laugh from the group and I told a joke in almost every meeting we had. Joy helps people not take themselves and the work too seriously. It can be fostered in almost any environment and is a personal decision. Sometimes it's like a cold--it has to be caught. Leaders (not managers) in an organization can create this cycle of joy. I think we all need to pay attention to when it's our turn to be a leader in joy fostering and when it's time to recognize that leader and contribute/follow.

I definitely think joy at work matters! If you have joy in the environment, contributors are often more collaborative and thereby more productive. Positivity can be a valuable contributor to productivity. And of course - who doesn't want to be joyful where they spend the majority of their time!?

100% Lori - Joy at the work place is very important. Cheers !

Hi Lori - absolutely agree, no matter the profession. A sense of optimism and a general attitude of enthusiasm and positivity goes a long way with oneself and those around you.

The most efficient workplace I have been had a place for camaraderie, joy. It usually brings a safe space to innovate.

Hi Lori,

I agree with everything you said. I would also add that joy is not just a feeling; it is also a choice, a path that one must step into. Life doesn’t always present itself in ways that produce emotional joy (at home or at work), however choosing joy as a lifestyle provides purpose and emotional stability for the long haul.

Hi Lori:
absolutely agree, no matter what team you are, the joy can promote the relationship. especily when there are small conflict or embarrassment happen.

I agree with you 100% Lori. A happy team produces.

Absolutely! Imagine what we think, say, write, and do are completely aligned with our values, vision and we can joyfully practice them daily @ work, how beautiful our life will be?

This is something that is really practical and possible if we make small tweaks to our attitude of gratitude and put people first rather than tasks/projects and keep spreading the smiles everyday!

Hi Lori,

Well said.


Thank you for all the beautiful comments about why joy in our work is such a wonderful thing! Your comments increase my gratitude.

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"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative."

- Oscar Wilde