Who's that Girl?


My Preschool Attitude- Part Two

Originally posted: April 17, 2009 on TrishMcFarlane.com

In a mere two days, I have become known in my department (unofficially, of course) as the Chief Happiness Officer.  Kind of corny, I know, but a bit of an honor.  When I think about it, I want to be known as someone who is upbeat.  Someone you can count on to distribute a bit of humor with the often hard facts and policies.  A HR person that people do not fear and hide from, but one who inspires others with my attitude.

The more I have thought about how my attitude can affect so many people, the more I think about other lessons I can learn from my preschool age twins that I can apply specifically at work.  So, as part two, I am focusing on enthusiasm.

The very definition of enthusiasm mentions having a “lively interest” in something.  When I watch my kids, they are still young enough to show enthusiasm at almost any task.  Whether it’s learning a new subject at preschool, trying a new sport, or even being asked to help me around the house with some chores, I typically get a very enthusiastic reaction.  That is what is lacking for many people in their daily jobs.

I know- it’s work and we have to be paid to do it.  But, to me, it’s more than that.  I can either adopt the attitude of having to drag myself in to my company, trudge grudgingly through my day, and collect my pay every two weeks.  I could do that.  I could probably even get by doing that for quite a while.  BUT I DON’T.  Know why?  I HAVE ENTHUSIASM.

Enthusiasm for my profession.  Enthusiasm to work collaboratively with my colleagues. Enthusiasm to make my life more than just picking up a paycheck.  It is sometimes more challenging to be enthusiastic every day at work, but it’s well worth the effort.  I definitely don’t recommend having to watch the clock every day for eight hours or more while you despise being there.

To me, when you no longer come to work with enthusiasm and you are only there to pick up a paycheck, it’s time for you to look for something else.

If you’re the boss, or in any role where you manage others, you need to be able to help increase enthusiasm for the work.  Especially knowing that a majority of people work to live, not live to work.  And, if your company is not doing as well financially, you may not have the luxury of motivating with money.  Here are some steps to take to increase enthusiasm toward the work:

·         Collaborate with staff on goals– Now is the time to have those discussions that managers dread.  Ask the employee what they like about their work and what their wish list would look like if they could make changes to their job.  Work with them to come up with mutual goals- goals that align with the company directives, AND that also speak to the areas the employee would like to gain or continue experience.

·         Create opportunity– Do anything in your power to position your staff for additional challenging projects, clients, or roles.  This will help reinforce that you know they are important to the company success.

·         Give them feedback–  This is where many managers fall down on the job.  It’s not hard to give informal feedback to your staff every day.  That in itself works to motivate employee performance because the employee will like that you’ve noticed that they are working hard.

·         Have fun– This is key.  As the boss, you have to have time built into the workday where employees can blow off steam, act silly, joke, and laugh.

While not a “cure all”, these things will certainly make the time that we all spend at work that much more valuable.

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