Shani Godwin is no stranger to hard work and the toll it can take on a person’s happiness and wellbeing. As the President and CEO of Communiqué USA, Godwin handles marketing and communications for large clients including Chick-fil-A, Georgia Power, and Monarch Beverage Company by serving as a “lifeline for [over burdened] corporate marketing teams,” according to the company’s website. Through her experience, she has learned how to make more money, while working less.
Ironically, it was while her business of being the relief for other companies was at its peak that Godwin realized that she herself could use a lifeline. “It was the most oxymoronic period of my career,” she recalled. “I had little to no bandwidth in my workday to eat, sleep, let alone think creatively.” Rather than continue to use economic wealth and corporate growth as measures for success, Godwin turned to her own form of currency to calculate her work wins. An ideology she calls JOY Economics.
The premise of JOY Economics is simple, happier employees positively impact a company’s bottom line. The numbers support this premise, too. According to a study by the Social Market Foundation, an employee’s level of happiness boosts productivity by as much as 20 percent.
In keeping with her focus on joy within the office, Godwin also assigned herself a new title: Chief Joy Officer. As Chief Joy Officer, Godwin makes it her business to ensure that every person who comes into contact with Communique’s brand has a good experience. “Our vision is to heal the world by helping others (our employees, our vendors, and our clients) find more joy at work,” she said.
Godwin’s main tip on how to make more money by working less? Increasing returns by finding more happiness at work. Here’s what she suggests you do:
While Godwin doesn’t believe work/life balance is easy to quantify, she does believe that coordinating your work schedule with the ups and downs of life can provide the peace needed to perform effectively without stress. “Creating boundaries at work that allows us to live, work and play within our day-to-day lives is healthy and good for business and the employees that they serve.”
Make Time to Be OOO
For Godwin’s ideal balance of work and life, time away from the office is just as important as time behind a desk. Communiqué USA’s policies reflect Godwin’s views with a policy prohibiting emails on weekends and after 7 p.m. on weekdays, customizable maternity and paternity leave, company retreats and paid holidays. “Just like with any other policy, it only works if it is enforced,” Godwin said, “We take the policy seriously and include it as part of our employee’s annual performance review.”
Be the Change You Want to See in Your Company
Because of her own experience with burnout, Godwin makes a concerted effort to lead by example when she encourages healthy lives outside of work. “Today, I am intentional about identifying burnout in others,” Godwin says. Though Communiqué USA continues its path toward growth, Godwin is committed to ensuring that growth doesn’t trump the well-being of her employees. “I am vigilant about slowing down the pace of growth by recognizing when we need to move fast, when we need to keep pace and when my team needs to slow down and take a break,” Godwin said.
Don’t Let Legacy Interfere with Progress
Communiqué USA is far from a startup, having been founded more than a decade and a half ago when Godwin was in her late 20s. Godwin’s views and policies on job structure continue to evolve and she believes more legacy companies need to adopt flexible policies to retain top talent. Godwin notes that the rise of non-traditional job models like the gig economy, temporary employees and hybrid workers won’t lend itself to the rigid adherence to 9-5 work schedules many large companies lean on. “I truly believe we are at a crossroads in Corporate America, wherein talent will be driving corporate decision making and–more and more people will be comfortable living, working and playing outside of traditional 9-5 employment on which legacy corporate models are built,” Godwin said.