Workplace relations and recruitment: To smile or not to smile?

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Have you ever thought, what is the first thing you do when you step into your office?

Is it a smile to your colleagues; a worried face for being late; a silent entrance or a loud “good morning”? Probably, something like that. Does it really matter?

Now, have you ever thought, what is the first thing that crosses your colleagues’ minds when they see your entrance? Silly, neutral, positive, negative? Probably, something like that. Does it really matter?

Now, please, take that thought and multiply it by 300. Kind of matters more now, doesn’t it?

And if you multiply those 300 working days by 20 (average people a recruiter has a phone conversation with per day) that leaves you with 6000 times when your social behavior was received, processed and judged by others.

And if you think now that positivity brings more positivity; that people are more likely to say yes to you if they like you; that just being nice is the secret to a good working life; and that “pushy”, “difficult” and “hard” are some common words that come to people’s minds when they think of salespeople; you might want to reconsider your initial thought of how much does your morning social routine matter!

It took Google four years to realise that a good working environment, our productivity and job satisfaction are all depending on just being nice at work. They found that successful teams have high “average social sensitivity” – which means group members were good at gauging how others felt based on their tone of voice or expression – also known as psychological safety.

Feeling safe and happy in the environment where you spend two-thirds of your life is a big deal. But, wait: not just for you. It’s equally important for those 20 people out there that you are going to speak with in a day and who will be much more likely to have a good reaction to a smile and nice behavior than to one more grumpy, ‘busy morning tone’. Recruitment is a people’s job. And being nice to each other is probably the number one rule of thumb to get a free pass to the club.

How can one act like that on the phone if they do not feel accordingly in their own workplace? How can you inspire safety if you don’t feel safe? How can you be likeable to strangers if you do not like your colleagues?

This is the main reason why all people/communication-based professions need to have a solid, shared culture and vision – and of course choose their members accordingly. Choosing the right people for your company’s culture is the secret to who you are (or want to be). And if you do that successfully, then you end up with a place where everyone likes everyone and success becomes easier to achieve. Hanami told me during  my first interview that if  any single member of the team doesn’t like me, then it is likely I will not be invited  to the next stage. Now I know why. Because liking everyone there puts a smile on my face every day and that attitude is always transferred on the phone, even if I speak to someone who doesn’t have the same luck every day.

Out of our 27,350 days on this planet, around 10,575 will be spent at work. Do we really want to spend it with people who do not bother to smile and do we really want to come to work ourselves without a smile? Even if we don’t mind, can we really assume those 20 people in our day will not either?

There. It’s simple. Have a good night sleep, drink some more water, wear your smile and off you go. Nice things will happen and success will be one of them.

Athanasia Varvitsioti, Hanami International.

P.S. If you want to learn more about the company culture at Hanami, then get in touch with our co-founder, Matt Harrison, at “”.
And, who knows, you might find one more reason to smile every day!