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22 sept. 2020
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Are you looking for ways to keep your employees happy, healthy, and productive? Lead with Levity offers a model to help you understand the puzzle pieces that fit together to form a solid foundation for happier, healthier work. The model takes a systems perspective, promoting 9 factors that you should consider. At the end, you'll also learn about a self-assessment that can be used to see where you stand on each of the 9 factors.
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9 Puzzle Pieces that Form the Base of a
Happier, Healthier Workplace
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“I am realistic – I expect miracles.”
― Wayne W. Dyer
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WE CRACKED THE CODE
Have you ever wondered how some companies are able to create magnetic cultures
that draw you in every time you connect with them?
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1. THEY AMUSE YOU
Are your best memories filled with delightful jokes, light banter, and fun activities?
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2. THEY UPLIFT YOU
Do you recall feeling better after the engagement—like a weight has been lifted?
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3. THEY SUPPORT YOU
Did you feel like you were heard and valued?
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THEY LEAD WITH LEVITY
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BUT WAIT, THAT CAN’T BE IT?
If you recall your experiences with these new eyes, you may recognize the tail tell signs of
levity—amusement, buoyance, and edification. Happier healthier companies lead with levity
and understand that the way they operate is just as important as the widgets they create.
Research links levity to…
Organizational citizenship behavior
Willingness to recommend the
organization to others
Intentions to stay with the company
Levity points to the
quality of exchanges
Levity is the glue that binds us together
We look to communication, behavior, and shared perceptions when
we look for the presence of levity. When present, this makes for a
special employee experience where people have a good time at
work and with colleagues.
What you can accomplish in that kind of environment
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It’s not enough to just say that you need levity. We created a
model to help you understand the puzzle pieces needed to
create an environment and culture that supports levity.
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We’ll cover 9 systemic factors across 2
axes—the unit of analysis and signs of health.
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Every organization has these 3 levels--people, at least 1 team, and a brand identity.
UNIT OF ANALYSIS
Every person brings to the
table, their beliefs, values,
experiences, and how they
approach their work.
We’re going to look at
communication, teamwork, and
norms within a group of people.
The brand governs rules and
expectations around what is and
isn’t acceptable across the whole
organization---brands will often
share statements about what you
can expect from them in terms of
quality, timeliness, and style of
UNIT 1 2 3
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And, every organization has 3 ways that we can see if they are connected and healthy.
SIGNS OF HEALTH
A healthy organization is unified.
Goals are clear, people agree on
how to approach their work and
they work together in solidarity.
A healthy organization is
internally responsive. People are
willing to share information and
resources with their colleagues.
A healthy organization is also
responsive to external forces as
well. This includes collaboration,
as well as anticipating needs and
proactively meeting those needs.
4 5 6 HEALTH
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How do you reverse engineer levity?
Based on the original research linking levity to several
positive outcomes for the person and the workplace, we
went on a journey to find out what separates companies
that win awards from everybody else. This included a
review of research published by Glassdoor, Best Place
to Work, and Quantum Workplace--all leading agencies
that determine who makes the list.
Dr. Walker also interviewed working professionals,
organizational development experts, and consultants to
large and small organizations to find out what can make
or break the employee experience. You can find a
sample of some of those conversations on the Lead
with Levity podcast.
Based on all of the information gathered, the 9-factor
model emerged. These areas support happier healthier
work. They form a foundation to allow people to have
more fun, more levity, and to take joy in their work.
Let’s take a closer look at each.
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WHAT DO YOUR PEOPLE VALUE?
Do the people on my team value levity? Believe it or not, this one is super important. Dr. Walker’s
research on an international sample of professionals found significant correlations between levity and job
satisfaction, feeling connected to and apart of a cohesive team, a desire to stay with the organization,
and we even found that levity takes the sting out of challenges. You can’t create a healthy, happy, fun
environment if you don’t believe in levity. The values we want to build here are that work can be fun, you
should be able to enjoy your coworkers, and that you are responsible for your organization’s culture.
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Free to Play
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IS PLAYFULNESS ALLOWED?
Next, do they feel free to play? A person who can be playful and have fun at work is
a person who can be themselves. Did you know that playful individuals lead more
active lives and that humor releases stress hormones from your system?
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IS KINDNESS AND
CONSIDERATION THE NORM?
Without some degree of conscientiousness, the use of humor can take a dark turn.
Conscientious people tend to live longer and have more positive work outcomes
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Trust in the Team
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DO YOUR TEAM MEMBERS
TRUST ONE ANOTHER?
Just because you’ve done some trust falls and team building activities doesn’t mean that you
automatically have trust. Trust requires vulnerability and it’s an essential building block for
teamwork. If you want a high performing team, you need to find out where your team stands.
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DOES YOUR TEAM KNOW HOW TO
GET THINGS DONE TOGETHER?
No one wants to work with a group that isn’t going anywhere, is barely getting things done and missing targets. A
group that can set and achieve goals together will have higher morale and achieve more than a group that is at odds.
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ARE YOUR TEAMS OPEN AND
RESPONSIVE TO OTHERS?
Happy healthy teams are open and responsive to the needs of others. They look for
opportunities to collaborate and solve problems outside of their normal scope. These
teams share a big impact on their organization because they understand the value of
partnerships. On the flip side, a group that scores low in this area reinforces silos.
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DOES YOUR BRAND INSPIRE?
The first brand secret is contagious positivity. When people value levity and trust their
teams, it’s often because at the brand level, these things are encouraged. The brand
inspires hope, authentic self-expression, and works to support the common good.
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DOES YOUR BRAND CARE FOR
An organization that has a family feel creates and enforces policies and programs that take care of people.
The ones that don’t may put all the weight and pressure to perform on their people, but then discard them when
they make mistakes. A lack of family feel also looks like when upper management makes decisions that really
don’t take anyone but themselves into account. A functional family makes its people the top priority.
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Service with Flair
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WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR
And the last secret that really sets apart happy healthy companies is service with flair. These
brands have found a way to mix a little bit of their personality into every customer encounter. With
Disney, it’s their attention to detail. With Southwest, it’s their amazing sense of humor. Every
Cane’s has a disco ball for impromptu dance parties while you wait in line. And the list goes on.
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FIND OUT WHERE TO
FOCUS YOUR EFFORTS
TAKE A LEVITY LEADERSHIP
This quick and easy self-assessment comes with a
customized report delivered straight to your inbox. Take
it for your own planning purposes or purchase one for
each person on your team to kickstart a conversation
about ways to build up each of the 9 areas.
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HEATHER WALKER, PH.D.
Creative Founder & CEO
Lead with Levity
Lead with Levity LLC was officially founded in 2020 to help companies build happier healthier workplaces with employee feedback and culture assessments. Breaking down
the science of fun, Dr. Heather Walker uses these tools to help leaders gain insight into factors needed to support a productive, happy, and healthy culture where levity is the
norm. Dr. Heather Walker has been spreading the message of the power of positive work environments since 2019 on the business podcast, Lead with Levity. Since
launching the podcast, she received overwhelming support and partnership from bestselling authors, leading consultants, and human resource experts. During the 2008/2009
recession, Dr. Heather Walker looked around and saw chaos and despair everywhere. She searched for a way to cope with the pressures of economic instability in her city,
mass layoffs at work, and additional responsibilities that come with a shrinking team. She discovered the power that levity has to keep teams together in uncertain times, to
release pressure and support mental resilience, and to create a positively magnetic work environment. She pioneered a survey tool to measure levity in the workplace and
continues to promote its value today. Her mission is clear: To support leaders who care about the environment they create with data and insights that improve levity at work.
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“We’re devoted to helping people just like you to create happier, healthier workplaces.”
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