Dear Sharon – August 2019
Q. Forgive me for being blunt, but I am unsure of any other way to state my challenge: Doesn’t anybody want to work anymore?
A. It’s ok, I get the point. We get this question a lot, and unfortunately there is no magic bullet answer.
There are indeed people who will work very hard. But there are a lot of cultural aspects to setting expectations, so the team understands what “working hard” means. There are employers in our area where I would tell you everyone works hard. Bergstrom Automotive is a great example of a work hard, play hard culture across the board.
Working hard also does not necessarily mean more than 40 hours a week. Work life balance is important and means different things to different people. The main reason for this is that the “purpose and values” for why we go to work is very different.
Some are more family-oriented and work to offer their family more than their parents were able to provide. Others have a purpose around creating a meaningful difference in society, which puts a stronger emphasis on doing good versus doing well. Neither are right or wrong, but it can create some iniquities in the workplace.
To balance it all out, I suggest the following:
-Set realistic expectations often. I say realistic because it is unfair to think a
-60-hour work week must be consistent for the business to be successful.
-Build a culture of giving back and fun. Knowing that meaningful work is important to younger leaders, honoring this is important.
-Make sure everyone feels significant and appreciated. It is proven that if they feel this way, the teammates will work even harder for the greater good.
There are lots of examples of businesses where their employees work very hard. They know what is expected and they know their leaders appreciate them. And it ultimately translates to how they take care of the customers. It’s not easy, but by being consistent you can create a balanced hard working and fun culture.