‘Director of Happiness’ Keeps Mood Light at Work

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AVON LAKE, OH -- What is a Director of Happiness? One Avon Lake company has one and believes it's making their environment better.

“Hi James, Hi Ray, how are you doing?" says Lisa Lehman of the Thogus company as she greets employees.

When Lisa Lehman gives you her business card, it has a very unique title; her card actually says she is the Director of Happiness for Thogus.

“Well, I go out and greet all of our members and make sure that they are having great shifts, ask about their families, find out what they are dealing with, what they are doing and I just make sure I understand who they are as individuals,” says Lehman.

For more than a year, Lehman has been the Director of Happiness at Thogus, a plastic manufacturing company in Avon lake that employs more than 170 people.

Lehman says when you have happy employees, it shows in their work and in the company’s bottom line.

“I think that they work better and I think they want to work. Sometimes it makes it easier to come to work. I think they don’t mind that we run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and I think what we’ve seen is our rates have increased for productivity,” says Lehman.

Employees at Thogus say more companies need to hire a Director of Happiness because it makes coming to work easier and less stressful.

“The culture that is promoted within this facility makes you want to come to work, it makes you want to excel at work, not just get by with the minimum,”  says Dan Barnes, of North Ridgeville.

“You go to a place and there’s a happy, outgoing person you want to be in there. You look forward to the next day coming to work,” says Ray Lopez of Lorain.

With the help of the Director of Happiness, Thogus has been ranked as one of the top work places in Northeast Ohio for 4 years in a row.


  • Tonya Kollen

    I believe every employer needs someone with an upbeat personality like Lisa! It does make going to work so much better if you like what you’re doing & like the folks that you work with…. great job Lisa!

  • Sharon Ulman

    I understand making sure that an employee has everything they need to do their job to the best of their ability. However, does this woman really get paid to ask them personal questions about their families and how she termed it, “personal issues they may be going through”. Kind of nosy, don’t ya think? Just sayin’

    • Ben Green

      I actually work with Lisa at Thogus. When I read this, it sounded like it was saying that saying hi to people is her only job. However she does have many other responsibilities. I agree it would sound weird if she got paid simply to talk to people. So it isn’t her only job, just the one they highlighted in this article to show the positive vibe of Thogus. :)

  • kathie

    I don’t think anyone actually asks anyone what they’re “going through” — I took it that she lets them know she is there for them. Amazing actually how many people there are who just want a listening ear, but most of us don’t have the time or the interest.

    IMO the hardest part of this position is deciding WHO is the right fit for the job — someone empathetic and kind but not overly

  • Cathy Russell

    What a wonderful idea! This company knows what it’s doing! Thank you for setting such a good example. Too many folks think the way to “manage” people is through negativity and that is so very, very wrong. Caring about employees, like this company, is what motivates people.

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