Are we obsessed? Do we think that somehow if we refer to our work as hard that it makes us somehow more special than if we referred to our work as fun?
I think so. Why else would we condition ourselves and tell others how hard our work is?
Does anyone like anything that is continuously hard? I don’t think so. Is it any surprise then that 85% of the people hate their jobs?
Thinking about work
We’re thinking about our work and our jobs the wrong way around. We think of them as austere – hard –
- go to work and “be professional” – who defines “professional”? Often people say the word to express to you that they don’t like something you said or did and has nothing to do with whether it was “professional” or not!
- Show up on time and stay late – that’s encouraging! Really makes people want to do their best work?!?
- Don’t laugh! Heaven forbid there should be any fun at work!
- Don’t have fun! Oh, no – fun and laughter in the workplace – how repulsive! It’s serious business you know – serious about what?
- Your boss is out to get you – the big meanie!
- Office politics – what are there? Does anyone really know? Are office politics just a mean game by people who love to manipulate?
- Don’t show emotion! Oh, no! An emotion – heavens – a human showing emotion! What have we come to!
If someone came from another world and you described work in these terms, do you think they’d hurry and get a job?
Only if they were insane!
We believe this nonsense right from the start. As we evolve into management, we bring these beliefs with us. Isn’t it about time to change and make the workplace a friendly rather than hostile environment?
Can it be different?
Yes, you can work and have fun! You can laugh! You can show emotion and still make a profit! All human things in the workplace are possible – it’s whether or not management is willing to work with people or not. It’s so much easier to give orders. It is so much more complex to actually create a humane atmosphere at work.
The bonus: people stop thinking of their workplace as a hostile environment and the “work family” is born with all its warts and beauty.
How Do I Know?
I’ve lived both worlds of work. I can tell you that the humane place is more complex but more gets done with greater efficiency and effectiveness than the obedience model.
I learned to manage that way because I felt there was a better way and there was. My superiors were shocked to hear the laughter and experience the high levels of productivity and involvement. My superiors were shocked by the tears that flowed when I left. They could have done the same but they couldn’t bring themselves to do the work it takes to get to that point. Perhaps they didn’t know how.
If you want your workplace to be a place where your employees want to show up, contact me. I’ll show you how. My consultancy is all about making your operations effective and efficient but fun and profitable. I’m on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – just type in my name – you’ll find me – and send me a message or comment on this blog.