Joy, Inc. | Richard Sheridan

Summary of: Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love
By: Richard Sheridan


Welcome to the journey of discovering Joy, Inc., a book that takes a deep dive into creating work environments that people love. The summary of this inspiring book by Richard Sheridan shares how joy can be an essential ingredient in building a thriving business culture, leading to higher goals, retention, and overall satisfaction. Learn how the Wright brothers’ pursuit of joy propelled them to success, how to incorporate joy in designing a collaborative workspace, and the benefits it brings in terms of communication and relationships among the team members.

The Power of Joy in Business

Joy is a valuable motivator in the workplace that drives people to achieve higher goals and create a culture of unity. Menlo Innovations software company’s success fuelled by joyful employees showcase the positive effects of a joy-driven business environment.

Who wouldn’t want to feel joyful and fulfilled while working? Joy, unlike some emotions, is one of the most desirable feelings, and it motivates people to strive for higher purposes. Incorporating joy in business can serve as a potent base for a company’s culture and something larger to pursue, either than just yourself. This motivation to achieve beyond oneself can be a valuable asset in the business world. Joyful individuals tend to work longer and harder to achieve their goals.

A company culture rooted in joy serves to bring unity and shape the team of employees. For instance, Menlo Innovations software company requests its potential clients to choose between joyful and non-joyful employees. The answer is expectedly the joyful ones since these employees tend to be more engaged and productive at work, leading to better results.

The Wright brothers’ and Samuel Pierpont Langley’s different motivations to create the first-ever airplane highlight this. Langley sought fame and fortune, while the Wright brothers sought the joy of flying. Pursuing joy inspired the Wrights not only to win but also to soar.

Therefore, a joyful company culture, like at Menlo Innovations, increases employee engagement and productivity, leading to positive business results.

Redesigning Office for Joy

Redesigning the layout of an office can hugely impact how employees feel about their work environment. The author redesigned his company’s offices, creating a large, open space where employees could see and work together resulting in a lively and creative environment. Menlo has ensured that its office space is easy to redesign with adapted electrical wiring and lightweight furniture. Allowing employees the freedom to play and rearrange the space creates a relaxed but creatively charged environment. Menlo’s approach of allowing its employees to move freely around the office has created a more productive workplace where changing the workplace seating creates a new perspective, ultimately contributing to finding solutions to problems.

Direct Communication in the Workplace

Open workplaces facilitate communication and promote joy, avoiding conflicts and enhancing productivity. Menlo employs high-speed voice technology to encourage active listening, promote conviviality, and build relationships. Direct conversations help employees understand true messages through body language and tone. Pairing up employees with a single computer and rearranging them every week ensures building relationships across the entire team.

Work Culture Artifacts and Rituals

A business’s culture can be enhanced by carefully chosen artifacts and rituals. Menlo’s leadership has meticulously created practices to promote a joyful work environment. Instead of the conventional meetings, the company has daily standups where employees discuss their work while passing around a horned Viking helmet. The entire staff takes a walk together at 3 pm, allowing them to stretch their legs and build relationships while conversing. The show & tell ritual helps clients and employees to be on the same wavelength. Menlo’s work authorization board helps in reducing conflicts by removing ambiguity about who’s responsible for each task. Therefore, just like family rituals, work artifacts and rituals also reveal and reproduce company values.

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