ROWM: Why you are desperate for it

ROWM: Why you are desperate for it

I am sitting on a mountaintop in Tucson, Arizona, staring at the absolutely hilarious caricatures that saguaro cacti display ? a good time to ponder the ?meaning of life? from a hotelier’s heart.

I have just returned from a deeply satisfying trip to Europe, the purpose of which was to transform the future of a hotel and all its ?inhabitants? (guests and employees).  

Transform into what? Gargoyles? Hardly. The focus of our time together was how to engender happiness to skyrocket ROI and bring the context of ?working? to a whole new level. When I began the week, as one might expect, skepticism was the order of the day. English was not their first language, and I was from ?across the pond.? However, once we engaged in the power and results that positive emotion produces on business, there was a palpable shift in the room. What followed were sparks of excitement, enthusiasm, involvement and engagement ? a great recipe for success in business (and life!).

The subject and implications of happiness may not be readily recognizable as a profound business principle. As I have stated before, based upon hard (financial) and softer metrics, happiness is the first principle of spellbound (read: loyal) guests and hiring and retaining the best talent. In our business, when you lose people, you bleed capital. The inability to attract the best talent keeps you in a mediocre ?no win? cycle. 

Harvard Business Review recognized the impact of happiness on profits in its January 2012 edition: ?Emerging research from neuroscience, psychology and economics makes the link between a thriving workforce and better business performance absolutely clear.  Happiness can have an impact at the company and country level. What gets measured gets managed. We?ve learned a lot about how to make people happy. We?d be stupid not to use that knowledge.?

Happiness is an emotion. While you may not be able to get inside someone?s head to manipulate the firing of their happiness synapses, you can create the context for happiness to occur in your place of business ? on an ongoing basis. Happiness isn?t something that comes from the corporate office or the sales department. When it is the heart of the culture, it is in evidence in every interaction. The revenue-generating potential of the focus on happiness is bottomless. ROWM (Return on What Matters) is the money shot where ROI is concerned.

The view from this mountain is great ? it is vast. What further fuels my joy is transforming the way we do business with a laser-like focus on one profound business principle: happiness. This, friends, makes me soar like the eagle above me.