What if work could be awesome? What would it be like to wake up in the morning and think, I can’t wait to get started and it wasn’t a vacation?
Okay, not every day can be that way no matter what. But there are SO many blogs about making a great workplace directed at leaders and managers. What about everyone else? Don’t we have some responsibility?
Yes, yes we do. Knowing that and acting on it as an employee gives us power. It takes us out of victim mode and into action!
So, now that we have our super hero cape and are in the appropriate superhero stance, how do we make work great? There are a lot of excellent ways to make this happen. Here are four methods that I, and people much smarter than me, have found to be successful
FLEX YOUR CHOICE MUSCLE
Yes, you have one. It’s located right next to the flight or fight muscle. Choice is pretty powerful and you’re actually using it all the time. How ever you react to a situation, unless you are in danger, it is a choice. Now, whether its conscious or unconscious is another story. Generally speaking, many of us react unconsciously. When asked to work late, we act like we are put upon and just do it. As if there was no alternative. But what if there was? What if you could consciously choose to accept the option to work late? Maybe use it as a time to really make yourself look good. Or maybe you could bargain to complete the work at home.
In the end, how you react to situations is your choice. If you get cut off on the expressway, you can chase the offender or you can turn up the news and be thankful you’re not that much of a jackass.
The best and most healthy way to deal with things is to choose your actions and reactions.
KNOW YOUR LINE OF SIGHT
Be very clear about how what you do impacts gaining and retaining customers. It will help you to understand why you take the actions you do (or should). You should be able to trace your actions/role to the customer within 3 steps (add jpeg of LOS path)
Knowing why you do what you do should help make your job more enjoyable. It will help give it meaning. If you can’t see how what you do impacts the customer, then you and your boss need to map that out. Once you figure that out, share it with your boss. They will likely be impressed and it’ll cause a good conversation about what you should be spending your time doing or not doing….
Give it your all
Yes, that’s right give everything you do your best effort. Often times when you put your all into a task it allows you to focus innovate and be more efficient.
Getting the reputation for excellence is always a great thing. People will know that when you are given a task it’ll get done. That is not to be taken lightly. Being a go-to person is a path to promotion and access to working on the best projects.
Mentor someone or take on training new hires. Often times you can get the energy you once had as a newbie by being around new people. Doing this will also hone your skills. There is nothing that increases your own skills faster than teaching them to someone else.
DO SOMETHING GOOD FOR YOU
Take time to reflect and recharge yourself. Nothing makes work (or anything for that matter) seem like drudgery faster than burning out on it. And if you don’t take breaks, recovering from burn out gets harder. (Remember that song you played over and over as a kid. The one you can’t stand now? Yeah, it’s like that)
Make sure you are doing something that you think is fun and is for you!
Now, it’s up to you. You can go to work and be miserable, change jobs and eventually be miserable there too (unless you work for a horrible company, more on that another time). Or, you can work on the only thing you really have control over, you.
As my mother used to tell me –
(Yeah, I probably should have listened to her more too…)
What do you do to make work awe inspiring?
Anil Saxena is the President of Cube 2.14, an organizational development consulting firm that works with clients to increase both customer and employee engagement while decreasing turnover, improving customer retention, and increasing profitability within organizations.
Saxena is a certified High Impact coach and trainer and a Joint Application Design facilitator. He is also certified by both Rush Systems and IBM as a focus group facilitator. He is an inaugural member of Northwestern University’s Learning and Organizational Change program, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.