Home > Ideas and Philosophy > Best Place To Work?

Best Place To Work?

December 24, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’ve never been a fan of the “Best Place To Work” initiative in the office, ever since it practically started. For lack of a better way to describe it, I blame it on overzealous implementation of such initiatives to the point of telling people what they can or cannot do during their personal time; I’ve been cynical about this initiative since then.

Anyway, if any company wants to be serious about developing a great place to work, then they do not need to go to great lengths of “fluff” to make it happen. In my opinion, companies just need to do three things:

  1. Pay people right. Pay people enough so that they don’t need to worry about money and how not enough of it is impacting their lives. Remove that distraction from money, and your people can focus on doing their jobs better.
  2. Give people interesting work. It’s not enough to give people a job; you must give them a career. Show them that they can have a future with the company: Give them the chance to pursue what interests them the most.
  3. Develop a culture of being nice and kind to everybody. This is especially important if you’re in a position of authority. Anecdotal evidence says it best: People don’t leave companies; they leave bad bosses.

(Personally, I don’t have a problem with #1 and #2, however I’m watching out for #3. Being a boss myself, I strive to be sure I don’t antagonize anybody – unless I actually have to, if it means standing up for and defending the people on my team who may be the recipients of rude behavior.)

It will be difficult to do, but people will eventually find a way to forgive you if you fail to pay them well or give them a satisfying career. However, if you fail to be nice and kind to them, then all the money and interesting work in the world will mean nothing.

“NOT PERSONAL! That is my WORK, my SWEAT, and MY TIME AWAY FROM MY KIDS! IF THAT IS NOT PERSONAL, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS!” (Julia Roberts, as Erin Brockovich in the movie of the same title.)

Despite what some people may say about work being a “professional thing,” work is a deeply “personal thing,” too. We spend a great deal of our natural life in the workplace. There will never be a place where we will always have high and happy moments; our work life is bound to be a mix of peaks and valleys, but hopefully we will have more of the peaks and the valleys would be manageable.

Therefore, at the end of the day, really, the bare-minimum that any company can do to make their place of work at the very least “livable” is to cultivate a culture of being nice and kind to each other. Having this in a company’s culture will make the peaks last longer and the valleys more bearable.

Work is stressful enough as it is, and the last thing anyone needs is a bad boss to make things even worse. Compassion and understanding – very basic human decency for that matter – will go a long way.

Jesus, I trust in You!

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

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