How to Use the FISH! Philosophy to Energize Your Office

Published On: June 28, 2023Categories: Blog

Energy is possibly the single most vital resource for the overall health of your organization. It’s not just not feeling tired, but it’s about that positive force that gives us the hard-to-come-by motivation to not just survive work, but thrive in your workplace with passion and drive.

Without energy, the work might get done, but at what cost? Demotivation, burnout, and poor mental health are all individual factors that lead to dysfunction on an organizational level, and we can avoid those by making sure our team is energized and excited to do their very best work, all the time.

As individuals, energy is what keeps us going and pushes us to do better and better each time, and as a team, energy is what helps us work together to create positive outcomes and keep the organization moving forward to greater successes. So how can your organization keep your team energized and working together happily and passionately?

Engagement = Energy

The Harvard Business Review has reported on a study that focused on how to energize a team of coworkers, and researchers discovered that the factor that most reliably predicted energetic outcomes was the degree–and quality–of interpersonal interactions between team members.

While we’ve all walked away from conversations feeling demoralized and drained, that doesn’t–and shouldn’t–have to be the case every time. When coworkers engage with each other in a way that’s supportive, affirming, and just plain fun, we go back to our desks or our workstations feeling perked up and ready to do great work.

Those interactions stack on top of each other, too: the more coworkers engage positively with each other, the more energy is put into the team overall, and the greater successes that team will see. And–would you believe it?–we’ve found that the practical lessons offered up by the Harvard researchers line up pretty darn closely with the FISH! Philosophy:

Make Their Day by affirming the value of your coworkers

Make Their Day is a FISH! Philosophy core pillar that’s all about the little moments that make people feel energized and recognized. One of the best ways you can increase the energy of your teammates is by going out of your way to offer affirmations, listening to their concerns, and giving them the recognition they deserve when a job is done well.

This doesn’t have to mean the office equivalent of participation trophies or grade-school Valentine’s cards–you don’t have to make it some complicated system that ends up being more patronizing than beneficial. But (especially if you’re in a leadership role) you will want to make time to engage in conversation, offer consistent feedback (including plenty of positive feedback), and offer those moments of validation that make your teammates feel seen and appreciated.

Choose Your Attitude by offering a positive vision

Energy cannot be contained, but it can be directed–and an organization will be at its best when the organizational energy is directed towards a positive future outcome. We talk about practicing Choose Your Attitude as a way of focusing your own mind, but the same lessons can be applied on an organizational level.

By offering a positive vision of the future, challenging-but-achievable goals, and a usable framework to reach these goals, you’re choosing an attitude for the workplace that keeps everyone not just working, but working together–and will direct everyone’s energy towards something really important at the end of the day.

Play and learn together as a team

Every organization will come across new challenges and new problems to solve (especially if they’ve set goals for themselves like in the last section here). Sometimes these challenges can be demoralizing on an individual level, but the best organizations are ones that push everyone to come together and tackle these problems as a team, learning and growing with one another.

And that’s where the FISH! lesson of Play comes into, well, play. As we’ve stated plenty in the past, Play isn’t just tossing a ball back and forth (although moments like that can certainly help Make Their Day); it’s about brainstorming together, listening to new ideas with an open mind, and building possible solutions that no individual may have come up with on their own. Not only will these solutions improve your organization, but the sheer act of finding them will help bond your team and increase their energy levels.

Be There by getting the little things right, each and every day

All your efforts can’t just be on increasing energy levels, though–sometimes when the going gets tough, the best thing you can do is simply play defense and sustain the energy you do have. For a lot of organizations, they think this means throwing pizza parties and having one-off “fun” work events. While these can be great, they can’t be the only thing your workplace does to maintain energy.

Be There is all about making sure we’re consistently engaging with our team during the countless little interactions we don’t even think about throughout every day: The short conversations with coworkers; the meetings, the water cooler chit-chat. When we practice providing support, kindness, and listening actively to others during even the most mundane moments with our team, we’re building a holistic work environment that builds people up and charges their emotional batteries rather than draining their energy.

Ideas to Reflect On:

  • What are some signs that a coworker or even a team are lacking energy? Do they exhibit these symptoms on a day-to-day basis?
  • Are there particular engagements throughout the workday (meetings, events, conversations with particular coworkers) that you find leave people consistently de-energized? What about the opposite; what are particular moments that energize your team?
  • Has your team built a culture where people are treated like human beings with real struggles, successes, and emotions? Do people treat each other with kindness and compassion, or is it “all business, all the time?”

Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and avoid the symptoms of impending burnout. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

Want to Implement FISH! in your organization?

Are you a leader?  Do you train others?  Do you want others to be leaders?

Charthouse Learning, the creator of the world-famous, award-winning, FISH! film is offering an in-person, 2-day workshop, interactive Train-the-Trainer lead by our Senior Trainer.

During our time together you’ll learn how to:

  • Share the motivation and foundation of FISH!
  • Introduce the FISH! film with the four practices.
  • Present the invitation to apply the practices in everyday interaction with others.
  • Build a sustainability and reinforcement program to transform the culture.
  • Pick up tips from other FISH! Philosophers and develop a strategy to embed the practices into the DNA of your culture.
  • Create an energized organization that is the “first choice” for employees, faculty, staff, leaders, and customers.

Plus, you will learn how to create a workplace where people choose to “be and bring” their best self everywhere, every day.

At the FISH! Train the Trainer you will:

  • Dive Deep: Discover The FISH! Philosophy – full of “A-ha!” takeaways and perspective-shifting realizations.
  • Transform: Make the four FISH! practices – Play, Be There, Make Their Day and Choose Your Attitude – an essential part of your professional and personal skill set.
  • Discover: Learn practical ways to apply the FISH! practices to improve teamwork, service, leadership, retention and performance.
  • Develop: Brainstorm strategies to embed The FISH! Philosophy into the DNA of your culture, strengthening your mission, vision and values.
  • Collaborate: Learn and laugh with like-minded folks from across the globe.

Click Here for More FISH! Train the Trainer Information

FISH! Executive Briefing

You have probably heard about the Culture Shift in the news. Organizations are struggling to find talent, employee morale is low, retention is a common goal and customers are dissatisfied with buying experiences.

These are all symptoms of an underlying challenge leadership is faced with every day, regardless of the industry. You can look for temporary relief or an overall, long-term cure.

Join us for a 60-minute webinar on the world-famous, award-winning FISH! practices.

Click Here for More FISH! Executive Briefing Information


Whether you work in business, education, or healthcare, FISH! offers accessible, intuitive solutions to empower your workers, bring your team together, and introduce Play into your organization. We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

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