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Donnelly Effect delivers actionable SPARKS to #WorkHappy, using HAPPINESS BY DESIGN to shape and reinforce a culture of service.

For years we have been relaying the importance of using responsible and engaged employees to create a thriving culture of service. But countless conversations with our clients have raised one very important question: Where are all the HAPPY PEOPLE?

In looking for the GENUINELY happy, positive people, the ones whose glass is always half full, we have learned that happiness attracts happiness. So the key to leveraging Disney inspired service principles is coming armed with delighted people by your side. But here’s the thing about sparking joy:

While you can train employees to look happy in front of a customer, it’s difficult – some might say near impossible – to train employees to be genuinely happy.


Happiness is an elusive goal. Most all of us want to be happy people, but true happiness is not an on-off switch. It’s not something you can train or force.

Some just HAVE IT.

Happiness comes naturally to people that are predisposed to happiness. It’s like their hearts are happy most (not all) of the time.

Leaders should be on the lookout for those special people, ALWAYS. The ones who radiate joy from the inside out with seemingly little effort are the types of employees you want on your team because they are naturally and genuinely inspiring to those around them.

People predisposed to happiness are tailor made for service. These people transform the basic signals of happiness, such as smiling through a greeting or an upbeat demeanor, into inspired experiences both internally and customer-facing. They don’t just give up on their customer or their coworker. They validate fundamental service principles in a way that no employee training seminar ever could because they wholeheartedly believe in the message.

Authenticate happiness, by EXAMPLE.

Remember, most customers can spot a dishonest and forced demeanor instantly, which means that service principles rooted in happiness fall short with employees who aren’t truly happy on their own. Rather than training indifferent employees to become more pleasant, lean on your naturally happy folks to shape, design, and inspire a culture of happiness authentically within your teams.

 Group High Five

Want to BE MORE EFFECTIVE? Follow us on the journey:
ABOUT MIKE DONNELLY: With over 20 years of Disney leadership experience, Mike Donnelly, Chief Experience Officer (CEO) of Donnelly Effect shares his insights on Talent Selection and HiringEmployee OnboardingCustomer ExperienceService Culture and Leadership-among others. Donnelly Effect is home of the exclusive "World-Class Workshop" series and offers consulting services and keynote addresses to audiences of all sizes and industries. Since 2007, Mike Donnelly has been a contracted Disney Institute Facilitator, delivering Disney customer service training to audiences across the United States. 


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