This is fiction. But it’s how work should be.
I arrive at work a few minutes late. I don’t normally arrive late, but occasionally I do. No one sweats it. The bosses know I’m a dedicated worker who makes an effort to always get to work on time; but they know everyone’s human. They trust me. They also know that treating people with acceptance, despite their imperfections, makes them feel lucky to have the job they have and so, more committed and a better spokesperson for the company. And they know that they also sometimes arrive late, and that expecting people to be more perfect than them wouldn’t be fair.
I get to my station and apologize to my team members for being a little late. No one’s concerned. They know what it’s like. We have a friendly atmosphere. The basic culture of the place includes that we know we’re all human.
Teambuilding on the Job
We spend a few minutes chatting about how we each are. It’s a check-in we do at the start of each day that helps us leave our personal lives aside so we can focus on work. We also fill each other in on any work matters we need to know. We know our employers support a little friendly conversation because they understand that a warm atmosphere is more attractive to customers and makes a happier workplace. We don’t want to talk too much because we’re engaged in this company. It’s a great place to work and so, we want to make it a success. Managers and employees alike, also understand that it’s difficult to have off-site retreats in a retail company, because stores are open all the time; so we know a little friendly conversation is a good opportunity for employees to bond and strengthen their sense of teamwork.
Learning on the Job Makes Us Feel Engaged
But we’re eager to get to work today. It’s the start of a big sale that we proposed and designed ourselves. It’s been a lot of work to set up, but we’re proud that we came up with the idea so we didn’t mind working extra.
“We would go to the ends of the earth for her.”
We’re really happy that our boss encouraged us to make proposals and actually listened when we did. We feel lucky that our boss was willing to teach us how to pitch the idea to the store owner and then gave us great suggestions for things to remember when talking to marketing about what we needed. We love that our boss shares her knowledge for our sakes as well as the company’s. We know managers in lots of places don’t work like that. We talk about it in the lunchroom. We would go to the ends of the earth for her. We’re really happy this company supports that kind of approach.
We’re Part of the Success
We’re also eager to get to work because we’re coming to the end of a profit sharing cycle and things have been going well this month. The new staff initiative that helps employees support each other across teams has generated several ideas for improving efficiency and seems to be increasing sales. Profit sharing isn’t a huge amount for the company, but it makes a difference for us. We don’t want so much that we’d put the company at financial risk, but every little bit is so motivating.
Our Engagement is Catching
We work hard all day. It’s easier to talk about the sale with customers when it was our idea. Things are energetic and fun and the customers respond well. The sale goes really well. The whole place is a buzz. Employees from other departments tell us it was a great idea. We’re so in the zone that even a grumpy customer just makes us smile at each other. Even though we’re exhausted at the end of the day, it’s the good kind of tired and we still have the energy to go out after work to celebrate. Our manager stops by with a box of chocolates for us. We all raise a toast to each other for being such an awesome team.
— Any employee, anywhere, has permission to customize and print this article so they can put a copy where their boss can find it, and help them understand why employee happiness matters. —