Recently I have been “leaning in” and listening to conversations which are happening as co-workers wait for their coffee to be ready or their lunch order to be called. 9.5 times out of 10, these conversations are complaint sessions about co-workers, managers, projects going south, or a loathing of their work.
Which makes me start to wonder, why do so many people spend so much time complaining about their work, work environment, peers, and managers? Maybe it’s a misery loves company type of situation. I am also guilty as charged and have often spent more lunches than I would like to admit complaining about a situation, peer, or client.
This got me thinking, what would it take to create a workplace which people LOVED? What if the conversations we were having, and hearing were positive, excited, and engaging? There have been a million studies done around this subject, case studies dissecting “utopian” companies and I could probably spew off statistics until we were all blue in the face. However, I thought I would just look inward and think through my experiences about places I have worked, inspirational individuals, and amazing projects and see if I could create a list and draw some of my own parallels.
Alignment and Common Purpose: We are aligned on the goals we are trying to achieve, there are no hidden agendas; everyone understands (and believes in) “the why” and “the what” we are trying to accomplish.
Trust: We trust each other and have the utmost confidence in the people we work with and work for.
Full Transparency: Information is available and shared frequently so we can make the best decisions at the time.
Decisive: Decisions are made quickly and with confidence based on the information available at the time.
Autonomy and Accountability: We are given the freedom to self-direct and complete our work as we see fit. We hold ourselves and each other accountable.
Community: There is a sense of community, if not family, where we are genuinely interested in the work we do, our personal lives, and we support each other in whatever we pursue personally and professionally.
Flexibility: We create an environment of flexibility in how we operate, manage, and allow individuals to balance their personal and professional lives.
Fun: Genuine, pure, fun, enveloped by laughter, inside jokes shared by all, and evolved by the team …not forced fun or optical fun of ping pong tables, puzzles, and cupcakes (however, I do love a good cupcake).
The common thread is these usually are at the core of the culture and values of the company, the leaders, and the employees. You may say, sounds amazing but will never happen here, it’s too hard to turn this ship.
Here is my challenge to you:
The change needs to happen internally first – the next time you want to complain, STOP and change your perspective-what can YOU do to make the situation better.
Challenge your peers and co-workers, pick one of the values you wish to achieve as a team and put a plan in place to make that value a reality.
Run a workshop on designing (or redesigning) your company culture and defining your values to make them stick (This is where I can help!).
Be the change and positive influence in your situation, everyone plays a role in the culture of a company. I can’t wait to be feeding off the buzz of the city and standing in line waiting for my coffee, hearing people talk about how much they LOVE their work!