The LegalConnect Blog

Find Joy in Any Job: How to Get Your Team to Love Work

How to Get Your Team to Love Work

“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”

-Aristotle

 

Joy is serious business

Workers who love what they do feel a passion for their jobs that keeps them motivated and enthused. Smart employers know this, so they’re using two-way communication and collaboration to change the DNA of organizational operations to create work that team members love.

But companies can only do so much. That’s because a job you truly love is not something you find, it’s something you make. This article explores the shared responsibilities that companies, managers, and team members have in creating more opportunities for on-the-job joy.

The search begins

The search begins

If most of today’s workforce members had their way, they would want their happiness to continue from the time they open the morning’s first email until the moment they log off. Organizations are aware of this and, as a result, are placing greater focus on creating environments where team members love what they do during the hours spent working.

It doesn’t take a magician to build these environments. It does, however, require all stakeholders–individual team members, managers, and organizations—to behave consistently and be open to feedback.

When each stakeholder group plays its role effectively almost any brick-and-mortar or virtual office can transform into a space where people enjoy spending time.

To build that space, each stakeholder must agree to take on certain responsibilities.

company responsibilities

Company responsibilities

While organizations have the greatest financial resources of all stakeholder groups, they also have the toughest role in getting team members to love work. It begins with a new team member’s first day on the job. Let’s explore:

Onboarding: First impressions matter, so make sure your onboarding process is structured to get employees up to speed quickly. More importantly, make sure the process encourages their buy-in. This is an ideal moment to align the new hire with your culture and goals.

Communicate openly and clearly: In-person communication is the gold standard but with many workplaces becoming decentralized online communication may be the only option. If your managers and team members are not operating face-to-face you can keep dialogue flowing with email, Google Chats, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or a WhatsApp group chat.

Not everyone may enjoy video conferencing, but most workers will appreciate an organization’s effort to keep communication lines open.

Feedback: The workflow and process that worked great yesterday may not work so well today. Keep channels open so you know what obstacles may be preventing your team members from working harmoniously and effectively.

Unexpected delights: Meaningful gestures can keep your team feeling appreciated, and those gestures don’t have to be extravagant. Something as simple as a hand-written birthday note, an upgrade for a work-at-home desk, summer hours, or a day off for a team member’s birthday will do the trick.

People love pleasant surprises, so when you’re building a workplace that team members will love, every piece counts. Especially when delivered with a personal touch.

 

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manager responsibilities

Manager responsibilities

It’s nearly impossible to create workplace happiness without savvy managers. That’s because managers essentially are the glue that binds the company’s macro initiatives to the minutiae of daily tasks.

They tend to have a high-level view of where the company is headed in addition to a ground-level view of the workforce’s beliefs and attitudes.

Because managers work so closely with the organization’s individual team members their influence can make or break workplace happiness. To build a harmonious and collaborative workplace, one of the best tools managers have is the one-to-one meeting: aka the 1:1.

How important is this kind of meeting?

Recent research shows that practicing 1:1s for a 90-day period boosts employee engagement 77% and employee turnover reduces 67%. Numbers like that suggest 1:1s may be the fastest and most affordable way to keep team members in place and productive.

But these encounters can’t be frivolous chat sessions. To keep the 1:1 productive here’s what workforce experts recommend:

  • Have 1:1s regularly. Once a week may not be too much. Keep the interval consistent.
  • Managers must bring their curiosity, ask questions, and listen more than they talk.
  • Managers should not use this time to tell their team members what to do. It’s a time to offer mentoring and problem solving.

It’s important to make 1:1s part of the routine but the quality of the discussion is where the real treasure lies. Managers who want to get the most from these interactions should ask questions that elicit insightful, actionable nuggets.

Some of the best questions to accomplish this are:

  • What challenges have come up in your position since our last 1:1?
  • What is one thing you’ve learned since our last 1:1?
  • You work closely with our products and services. What are they missing? What improvements would you make?

Want to supercharge your 1:1s?

Without the right focus these important meetings can meander or become one-sided.

Don’t let that happen.

Read this article to learn how to set an agenda and ask questions that lead to meaningful dialogue and leave both participants feeling positive.

Get your 1:1 tips now!

 

Team member responsibilities

Team member responsibilities

Jobs come in all shapes and sizes but nearly everyone has some work-related tasks they truly enjoy. No one knows better than you which part of your job you enjoy most, so it’s up to you to find a way to apply it above and beyond the way you’re already performing it.

For example, learn a new skill or apply a technology in a way that turns your natural love into a contribution to the team. If you’re an Instagram guru offer to help with the company’s social media or become a content contributor. If you’re an Excel wizard offer to give the sales team a crash course in custom formulas.

Whatever you decide to contribute, turn it into something that makes managers or colleagues look up from their laptops and say, “Wow, that really makes a difference.”

Pro tip: Don’t wait for someone to ask. Step up and offer.

This powerful gesture can shape your work happiness in a way that only you can facilitate. And remember, there is a right way and a wrong way to think about this action.

RIGHT WAY

  • It’s a clever hack that will help my boss see the work I should be doing and move me one step closer to my dream job.

WRONG WAY

  • I don’t have time for this.
  • That’s not what they pay me to do.
  • Why should I give something for nothing?

Consider this as an opportunity to be thought of as an innovator. The innovation you provide could become important to your team’s output and make you the go-to person for that task. Best of all it puts you on the company’s radar for all the right reasons.

 

Action, not words

Action, not words

Having stakeholder groups all on the same page seems like a sure recipe for success. However, companies can unwittingly trip up well-intentioned workplace initiatives by saying one thing and doing another.

Companies that don’t deliver on promises do so at their own peril. The consequences for companies that fail at follow-up include having team members disengage, become less productive, or commit sabotage.

How bad can it get? This Entrepreneur article highlights how job dissatisfaction has led some employees to tamper with systems, steal intellectual property, and badmouth employers online.

In contrast, organizations that excel at follow-through are their own best friend. Team members that work for such companies tend to remain invested in the mission of the organization’s work and stay on task.

Organizations that are true to their workforce are also less likely to see cynicism take root among its personnel.

Reservoir of trust

Organizations that do what they say they’ll do create a reservoir of trust, which can be defined as institutional credibility built through a demonstrated history of integrity.

That reservoir is especially useful when there is disagreement because it provides an aggrieved party more options than choosing to leave the organization or stay and be unhappy.

A reservoir of trust creates a third option; one that managers can engage by asking their team members, “Will you gamble with me? Can you trust me enough to move forward and, as we move ahead, we’ll continue to resolve this issue?”

 

What Companies Do That Teams Love

What Companies Do That Teams Love

There is no single recipe that creates joy for every job. However, there are several innovative approaches companies are taking to give employees more opportunities to find happiness at work.

  • Lifelong education.
  • Emphasis on growth and development.
  • Corporate “alumni associations.”
  • More choices for when, where, and how to work.
  • Less emphasis on conformity.

 

Build Loyalty Through Corporate Social Responsibility

Actions and policies organizations put in place to positively affect society or the environment are known as corporate social responsibility. These programs have become very attractive among the workforce.Major brands such as Starbucks, Disney, and Rolex all have corporate social responsibility programs that attract participation. One of the reasons these initiatives are popular within these organizations is that they keep team members feeling valued and engaged.

Examples of corporate social responsibility programs include:

  • Community volunteering
  • Socially conscious investments
  • Responsible sourcing

Find out how to use corporate social responsibility programs to build loyalty among team members in this Forbes article.

 

Curiosity will keep you together

Curiosity will keep you together

Most great accomplishments don’t happen because someone on a mountaintop throws a thunderbolt. Great accomplishments—such as creating a workplace that team members love—tend to spring up because one curious person says, “Hmmm, what if?…”

Curiosity is a currency for people who lead teams. Team leaders who are curious about the unique loves of each team member can use the insights they gain about these individuals to help drive excellence.

That’s why the United States Army is composed of 10-soldier squads. This sizing enables each squad leader to be intently curious about what the unique role is of each person on the team. It’s the recipe for becoming more collaborative, and collaboration very often is the foundation of success for any operation.

Create your own happiness

Create your own happiness

There is no such thing as a job showroom. If you are the member of a team looking to find a job that truly satisfies you then accept that you are the architect of that job. Then do a deep dive to explore your own skills and aspirations.

Figure out how you can use those skills to do more of what you enjoy and differentiate yourself among your colleagues.

Then lean in and contribute more of it to the team.

If you’re a business owner or manager, it’s your job to help your team members see the potential in their own talents and edit their careers as needed. Company leaders are in the ideal position to help their workforce members rewrite, reimagine, and recreate their jobs into work they love.