Published: Monday, March 27, 2017

Business LabourManagement

In this 21st century, the first of the third millennium, a unique and composite leadership approach must be employed to ensure staff remain engaged, encouraged and energised. 

    Issued by Perfect Word Consulting (Pty) Ltd

    Since the very first modern employee-manager relationship, the world has debated the various leadership styles available. Bosses are hard pressed to find a resource that would categorically state which style, in isolation, is best. In this 21st century, the first of the third millennium, a unique and composite approach must be employed to ensure staff remain engaged, encouraged and energised.

    Chron describes the five leadership styles most utilised as: Laissez-Faire, lacking direct supervision of employees and failing to provide regular feedback; Autocratic, when managers possess total authority and impose their will on employees; Participative (or democratic)  leaders value the input of the team, but decisions still rest with the leader; Transactional leadership entails managers and team members setting predetermined goals together, and employees agreeing to follow the direction and leadership to accomplish those goals; and Transformational, depending on high levels of communication from management to meet goals.

    As the working world continues to shift and diversify, the workplace increasingly becomes a melting pot of different characters, skills, personalities and pressures. As such, a combination of styles is required to meet the unique needs of each individual employee. Liane McGowan, happiness guru and founder of Happy Monday CC, confirms that effective leaders must focus on happiness at work. 

    “One of the easiest ways for managers to encourage happiness in their workforce is through the way they react to and interact with their staff. Happiness spreads! There are a variety of exercises and tasks that can be undertaken to encourage happiness within each environment, without negatively impacting on productivity or time spent working,” confirms McGowan.

    In some instances, leaders focus so much on the bottom line that they inadvertently demotivate their staff – which is counterproductive to their goal of profitability. “In general, the three most demotivating things bosses do at work include: taking personal issues out on staff; not leading by example; and demanding respect when this should be earned.”

    Despite the most intricate happiness strategies, by our very nature, humans are fallible. So how can a culture of happiness be maintained in the face of disciplinary action? “Discipline and happiness within the workplace are separate issues which work hand in hand. Corporate rules and regulations need to be adhered to no matter how happy an environment is,” adds McGowan. “However, what we do tend to find is that the more positive and well-functioning an employee, the less need there is for discipline or for employees to feel they need to break the rules per se. Happy people work together, not against one another.”

    Happiness at work is not about being “warm and fuzzy”. McGowan concludes; “Happy employees are employees who stay on task, stay motivated, and are more creative and less stressed than unhappy employees. They lead and strive to succeed more than unhappy employees. They are willing to go the extra mile, and are dedicated to their task at hand – and the ultimate success of the organisation.”

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    Happy Monday CC offers the first South African wellness campaign that focusses on mental health and happiness at work, delivering employee wellness campaigns that make the difference! For more information please visit or contact Liane McGowan at


    Liane McGowan Biography:  

    Happy Monday CC was founded by happiness guru, Liane McGowan. She obtained a degree in Psychology through UNISA in 2012. Liane has worked as an operations manager with Currin’t Events for over 12 years, working directly with medium and large corporates in South Africa. During these years, Liane identified a need for a mental wellbeing focus and began researching the topic of happiness within the corporate space. Liane conducted her honours research report in 2010 on the prerequisites for successful retirement for adults over the age of 60; where she found that happiness in retirement was linked to happiness in the workplace.