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Ignite Chicago is an evening of fast-paced talks on a variety of topics with a simple goal: to inspire. The high-energy event, held last night at co-working space 1871, consists of fourteen five-minute presentations with twenty slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds. A cross between WBEZ’s This American Life and a TED talk, this live event brings together passionate experts from all walks of life. Below we highlight our four favorite topics of the night:
“If you’re going to treat your employees like kids, they deserve a snack and nap time”
Jill Felska opened up her presentation with a daunting commentary on the state of the American workplace: “Adults are in control of their destiny – until Monday morning.” She explains that workplace unhappiness occurs because our society fails to promote managers who display strong leadership skills and genuinely like people. Instead they choose to promote those who have been there the longest. Felska argues that this needs to change because employee happiness is directly related to increased sales (37 percent), increased productivity (31 percent) and more task accuracy. “When you give someone autonomy it gives them an incredible opportunity to step up to the plate,” said Felska.
Here are Felska’s top three tips for increasing workplace happiness:
∙ Bring people from different departments into different areas: this allows them to show off their skills and solve problems.
∙ Focus on employee strengths: when people use their strengths once a day they are six times more likely to be engaged in their work.
∙ Remember to take breaks: encouraging and enforcing breaks increases productivity.