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We Wish People Enjoyed Their Work More - Let's Work on That!

Posted by Mark Graban

Jan 6, 2017 7:18:00 AM

man-390339_640.jpgSince the earliest days of my career, I’ve been fascinated by the reasons why people are upset with their jobs or are miserable at work. I’ve often been saddened that people spend so many hours and such a high percentage of their lives in a workplace they don’t like.

I’ve been fortunate to have jobs that have been engaging and interesting. I’ve generally liked my work, even if there have been frustrating times of my own.

I’ve been blogging over at LeanBlog.org for a long time - since 2005. In fact, I started the blog during a phase when I was somewhat bored and disengaged by my workplace (my last manufacturing job before getting into healthcare).

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On this theme, Facebook recently reminded me of a post I wrote in January 2009 titled “Why Was Everyone So Miserable Today?

These were the early days of Facebook when people were prompted to post what they were doing and you’d see “Status Updates” that said things like “Mark Graban is eating a grilled cheese sandwich” (OK, I never wrote that). These were simpler times before all of your friends were posting news articles that led to never-ending political arguments.

 But, as I wrote about, many of my friends were complaining about their first day back to work after the holidays, saying things like:

  • ___ is a little grumpy, but will bounce back!
  • ___ is struggling to focus and ready for another vacation.
  • ___ is looking for a new gig.
  • ___ is back at work. yay?
  • ___ is back to work… but guess I can’t complain since many friends don’t have jobs anymore.
  • ___ is wow, Monday after a holiday. Ouch…
  • ___ is back to reality.
  • ___ is up. Can’t believe it’s Monday.


That’s all fairly sad.

One reason I love KaiNexus is that our team members all believe that people should be able to enjoy their workplaces. It’s possible.

Our customers agree. No matter what improvement methodology they are using, they’re actively engaging their employees in improvement. They don’t tell employees to stop complaining. They ask them to speak up and they work together in the name of making things better.

I’ve worked for too many organizations where employees have a figurative black cloud over their head all the time. They’re lucky if this black cloud of gloom and unhappiness doesn’t rain and shoot lightning at them.

I hope that it’s your resolution for 2017 to improve workplace satisfaction. Experience shows that we can move beyond superficial things that are intended to gloss over things that might be fundamentally bad in the workplace. Instead of pizza parties and ping pong tables, shouldn’t a “cool” workplace be one where people are listened to and engaged?

Participating in improvement is one of the best ways to improve workplace happiness, satisfaction, and engagement. This isn’t just the nice thing to do… it’s good business.

Happier, more engaged employees provide better customer service. They’re more creative. They help improve safety and quality (which leads to more happiness and more improvement)… this all leads to a better bottom line.

Did you see friends complaining about getting back to work? Did you hear colleagues complaining? Maybe people hold back at work when they vent on Facebook.

What can you do about this in 2017? How can KaiNexus help?

 

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