There’s no “I” in “team”
There is no “I” in “team”, but there are two in “workplace motivation day”, so gather round, everybody, let’s get involved!
Around the May- September period of any given year, employers will often notice that there is a slump in morale amongst their employees, but they soon discover what is believed to be an easy solution for it; a motivation day.
It’s through these months that a plethora of motivational speakers will emerge, fresh from their Bali summer homes, to extol the virtues of working nine to five, or eight to six, or seven-thirty to whenever the assignment is complete.
Lovers of clichés and activities rejoice, this day is for you. For others, it is a day spent thinking “wow, I am motivated to be at work, as it is an option preferable to this.”
I will admit I love a good proportion of the activities that I have been coerced into, especially when told to draw a “person dressed inappropriately for the workplace” (a self-portrait of what I wear on the weekends) and made to create a comic strip of “a unique customer-service experience”.
Unfortunately the comic-strip experience was marred by the fact that the facilitator and I clearly did not agree on the definition of “unique”. I still think the story of a hotel concierge going above and beyond when a guest makes a request for a stapler with a death-ray attached makes for not only a unique customer-service experience, but a fascinating piece of graphic literature.
Although, the company-provided counselling has proved refreshing.
I digress. Can employers really expect to get bang for their buck when some evangelical ‘motivational speaker’ is telling them to love the hard sell, when the last thing the speaker sold was their soul in exchange for porcelain veneers?
There are many little things that an employer could do to boost morale around the place that doesn’t include a $5000 bill, an unproductive day and enough eye-rolling that most people would succumb to motion sickness.
Here are my outlandish suggestions:
- Ditching the home-brand coffee for something palatable.
- Honouring the RDO’s of your workers.
- Firing that person in the corner that clearly hates their job, never has anything nice to say to anyone and makes it well-known to everybody that they believe they are the only person around who’s actually making a contribution to the place AND replace them with someone who is not exactly the same in temperament.
- Crazy wig/tie/t-shirt day is NOT a thing. It never has, and never will be. So don’t make it a thing.
- Ensuring everyone in the workplace gets a mix of the exciting as well as mundane tasks.
- Allowing everyone to have a decent work-life balance.
-Wall-paper the office with “hang in there, baby” posters.
- Stumbling upon the realisation that different people are motivated by different things.
It is true that we are draw inspiration to keep going from different things; some people love money and status, some prefer the thought they are making a difference in the world, others simply want to provide for their loved ones.
But, I took a vote, and it’s unanimous that a person who’s “high on life”, excited about power-point presentations, uses the phrase “now, team, let’s think outside the box” and used to be a spokesperson for Colgate is not the way to get anyone excited about their job.
In the words of a wise facilitator; keep your eyes on the prize, people! Or at the very least, hang in there, baby.
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