Recently, there has been more and more emphasis on the workplace being somewhere to enjoy rather than endure.
We think that 2020 should be the year we all get on board with this and start to view the workplace as a positive and gratifying place. After all, it is where most of us spend most of our week!
That’s not to say we shouldn’t be working hard… quite the opposite in fact! Working hard = a rewarding feeling, which in turn is sure to boost morale and satisfaction at work.
Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia’s book Everybody matters focuses on the mindset that work should be inclusive and pleasant. Chapman quite rightly points out that it just doesn’t make sense for us to channel so much time and energy into education and job-hunting, to not even enjoy the actual job!
Just as there should be a deeper purpose to business that simply generating profit, your job should represent more than just a salary.
Chapman places most of the responsibility for this with the leader of the business. Here, he uses the word “stewardship” – truly caring for the individuals that leaders oversee, taking action to inspire others, and channelling mutual respect instead of exerting power.
Combining Chapman’s ideas and our own, we’ve come up with a few team-uniting actions to try out in 2020. If you’re a leader, you could try implementing a few of these this year, and if you’re an employee in a company, why not suggest them to your peers and superiors?
- Regular goals and review meetings. We have found these imperative for viewing work positively. These types of meetings help focus objectives and goals, and remind employees just why they work so hard, as well as the skills they’re learning. It is also an opportunity for employers to praise their teams for their work, and for employees to raise any concerns or issues. Review meetings can kickstart a chain of reviewing and improving.
- Incentives – these don’t need necessarily be monetary. Nominations and awards for effort, an hour’s early finish on Fridays, casual dress days and sharing the employee’s efforts with the rest of the team can all be motivating incentives for employees. Of course, healthy competition for rewards such as days and meals out don’t go amiss, either!
- Out-of-office activities. Now, we know it’s tempting to head straight to the comfort of your home but getting to know each other on a personal level can really help colleagues feel more secure and ‘at-home’ at work, which can in turn boost motivation and productivity. A walk to the sandwich shop during lunch or quick drink after work with a friend from the office can help create a community feel at work which Chapman views as crucial. Work socials can also be an attractive feature to new employees who may be feeling nervous.
- Being aware of employee’s and colleague’s personal lives. Everyone has a life outside of work and ignoring this will do the workforces no favour. Bereavement, personal health and stresses, for example, all affect employees’ ability to focus at work. Recognising and adapting to this fact will certainly help the workplace feel more of an inclusive and compassionate community which everyone will appreciate. You could try this out by assigning senior members as ‘welfare officers’ for groups of employees.
- Being open with workload. As a leader, it is important that your employees know they can turn to you for advice if they’re struggling with their role or aren’t sure how something operates. Having a system in place when this happens to allow yourself to discuss the difficulties with the employee and arrange a forward action plan.
As Chapman reiterates throughout his book, employee happiness lies with the leadership in place. Treating each and every employee as an individual is his way to success, and he measures his success and the success of his companies by “the way we touch the lives of people”.
Happiness, he says, also lies in determining your purpose within a company or business. Leaders should take the time to detail how each and every employee is contributing to the overall goal. Highlighting how valuable each individual is to the structure of the business, and continuing to do so over time, gives the employee a sense of purpose and makes them see the effect they have. The follow-on effect of this, Chapman has proven, is employee enjoyment.
We think this is a great message to spread and will certainly be putting in the extra effort in 2020.