According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Hawaii (for the eighth year in a row) has the highest well-being rating in the U.S.
What is it that makes people in Hawaii so happy? You could say it’s the clear blue ocean, colorful plants, and the perfect weather, but in fact it’s something deeper than the environment itself. The “aloha spirit” is what truly sets Hawaii apart from any other place. The word “aloha” can be used to say hello and goodbye, but to the Hawaiians, it’s more than a word. It’s a way of life. Aloha means mutual regard and affection, and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return.
Here is how we can bring the Aloha Spirit into our organization:
Akahai – kindness to be expressed with tenderness
Have you ever had that one person in the company that works hard, but doesn’t work well with the team? One bad attitude can sink the entire ship. I recently worked with someone who felt like he didn’t need to be part of the team in order to do his job well. It affected the moods and attitudes of others in the office. If we address the issue up front, we can keep the positive energy flowing in the office. We often forgot the little things we can do to come across as friendly to others. Something as simple as greeting people with a smile can go a long way. Expressing interest in the people we work with shows them that we actually care, and unites the people in an organization.
Lôkahi – unity, to be expressed with harmony
Having a team that doesn’t work well together can quickly erode the productivity of a company, and lead to high turnover. Setting clear goals that the entire team can work toward will get everyone rowing in the same direction. Often times, we are quick to point out mistakes in others, and forget to give honest and sincere appreciation. Giving appreciation is critical to keeping our employees engaged.
`Olu`olu – agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness
Nothing good can ever come out of saying “your wrong” . The moment those words leave our lips, the person we are talking to will instantly put up her guard. Putting our pride aside, and listening to what other people have to say, will provide a safe and open platform for our teams to express themselves and communicate effectively.
Ha`aha`a – humility, to be expressed with modesty
No one likes the “know-it-all” leader. Recognizing that we may not always have the best answer or solution to a situation will allow us to lean on our team for support. We may be surprised how much we can accomplish when we encourage others to express their opinions and run with the ball on their own.
Ahonui – patience, to be expressed with perseverance
We get so busy focusing on what needs to get done now, that we forget to plant our seeds for the future. The worst thing we can do as leaders in not invest in the people in our organization. We need to be patient with our team, and help them along their journey in growing with the company.
Adapting the Aloha Spirit in our organization will bring us one step closer to living in paradise.