That Friday Feeling
It’s been interesting reflecting on employee engagement lately. A few weeks ago my status on LinkedIn was, “Do you have that Friday feeling? Do your employees have it too?” which was meant to start drawing attention to two things: 1) how engaged a leader is will reflect also in their workforce and 2) reminding leaders that they also need to feel engaged to enjoy work and perform better. Interestingly enough, this week I also read an interesting article on this very topic!
However, there was nothing as poignant as my Friday last week to actually put this all into perspective. As I’ve been on the path of entrepreneurship I have been doing quite a few things out of my comfort zone, one of these is doing little side jobs to create cashflow as not to drain my businesses too much, as they are in their early days! So as I was flyering on Friday morning at a major London station the truth hit me like a bucket of cold water. There I was smiling and happily trying to hand out flyers promoting an amazing summer festival, whilst 90% of the population where heading into their 9-5 job. Out of this 90%, another 90% looked like grumpy zombies who wouldn’t even respond to a good morning, let alone take a flyer! This left me thinking about how many of these zombie like employees would then go into work and perform at their best… the sad truth is probably none. I know that when I’ve personally loved my job, Friday doesn’t feel like I have to drag myself in for one last day before I am finally free, Friday has been as enjoyable as every other day because I’m going out there and doing what I love in a place that loves me back.
The second realisation was later on that night whilst I was doing some bar work. I had the amazing opportunity to see both extremes of the Friday feeling. The second one being the absolute bliss and excitement of the start of the weekend which in some cases were quite extreme! So that over the top celebration that the weekend was finally here also got me thinking…
We like to say employee engagement is a two way relationship and I believe both have a part to play:
- As an employer – creating a place where people can thrive, the right environment, processes, technology and tools to be available, but also to help make the connection between minds and hearts by providing the employee with a feeling that they are valued, giving them a voice and recognition for a job well done no matter the level.
- As an employee
So this latter one is slightly more controversial, as I know the economy isn’t what it used to be and job security is a thing of the past, however, I find that a lot of people find themselves stuck at a job and won’t do anything themselves to be “unstuck”. This is awful for an organisaiton because it means you have an office full of zombies who will just do the minimum to get paid and go home. However, I have to admit part of me did think as I saw the zombies coming out of the station, so “why do you work where you work if you clearly don’t enjoy it? Why not save yourself the pain and the company money and find somewhere where you can excel, be yourself, and just love every minute of it?”. Not only would we have a better economy as we would have more engaged employees all round, but people would generally be healthier as they would be taking responsibility for their own wellbeing as well.
I believe if both the employee and employer did their part in taking responsibility for themselves we would be at a much better place. I am not only talking about individually, but also collectively as an organisation and even more as a country and as a planet. Let’s find a way to get rid of the Friday feeling and say yes to a better future.