“Nobody wants to work anymore.”
If those words haven’t come out of your mouth this week, I’ll bet you have at least heard them said.
It’s true— the workplace isn’t what it used to be.
And to that, I have a really unpopular response: Good.
Consider for a moment:
- The average person spends 1/3 of their life at work.
- 85% of employees in America say they’re just going through the motions; they haven’t loved their jobs for years.
- That means we’ve been asking employees to give away 1/3 of their time on earth to something they don’t believe in.
Now, with that in mind, I have a few questions:
- Would you settle for that?
- Would you want your wife, son, daughter, or friend to settle for that?
- Is it any wonder that when we sent the workforce home for a couple of months they saw how much better their life could be?
Maybe instead of worrying about how employees have been wasting our time, we should be worrying about whether or not we’re wasting theirs.
Now before you write me off as a rainbow unicorn chaser, I have some good news for you.
The solution is really simple:
Celebrate your people.
This is not a millennial thing, and it’s not a Gen Z thing. It’s a human being thing.
See, the problem with human beings is that they want to be valued. And I know that you DO value them…
…It’s just that they probably don’t see that enough.
Celebration is the proof of what you value.
Lack of celebration is also the proof of what you value.
I’m not talking about “rah-rah” cheerleading. I’m not talking about everyone-gets-a-participation-trophy culture. And I’m not talking about rewarding lazy people.
I’m talking about genuine acknowledgment of the 1/3 OF THEIR LIFE they offer you when they show up at work.
ONE-THIRD of their life, your team shows up offering their best, wanting to make a difference, and craving the acknowledgment that they’ve done a good job.
Are you at least giving them that satisfaction in return?
Here are two ideas for you:
- Adopt a weekly trophy of excellence that gets passed around. Whoever has it this week gets to pick who gets it next week. We use an ugly decorative Moss Ball for ours. My friend Chris uses an old sneaker for his. The choice is yours, as long as you do this weekly without fail.
- When a team member least expects it, cover their desk with five sticky-note compliments from every team member after work one night. When they walk in the next morning they will explode with the joy of 100 lighting bolts, remembering exactly how important they are. We call it a Truth Bomb.
Even for the knuckleheads on your team, you can find some area of excellence if you just try.
It’s not manipulation.
You are not doing this to “beat the system.”
If you aren’t genuine, this will blow up in your face.
You are doing this because people matter. Their time matters. Their life matters.
And that is freaking worth celebrating.