Tell us why you love us
Today we are having a corporate hug-a-thon where I am being asked to keep a record of the number of cups of tea I’m drinking and how many times I say ‘fun’. All the while being encouraged to fill in my log book of joy so it can be collected by a secret cabal of happiness makers for some non-nefarious reason.
Now that may come of sounding a little cynical, but I can never get on board when a company tries to make individuals feel better about their job by making us all sit around a campfire singing a customer service kumbaya.
Not that I am against such activities, but as a Brit I feel that I have an inherent cultural disdain when authority tries to implement fun on me. When the ‘powers that be’ try to get all touchy-feely it hits my ‘special spot’ and means that I repress the feelings of shiny with sarcasm and cynicism.
Giving us a special day to think about how we work or the customer is a bit patronising; it’s like Mother’s Day. I don’t want one day where I think about how amazing my Mum has been, I should spend everyday thinking about it, and suggesting I don’t on the other 364 days (excluding weekends – for work I mean) makes me feel that my normal contribution is not valued.
Love your company overlords
And no. this doesn’t mean I should buy a card and present for my Mum every day. She already has a gift in me, granted it’s a bit like getting socks at Christmas but it’s the thought that counts (interestingly giving a box with a thought in it is never well received).
I’m not against corporate human resource departments trying to motivate their staff, or even trying to make the workplace a more enjoyable place to be for the fifth of my life I spend staring at a bright yellow wall. I do have an issue with being told I need to enjoy myself and then accused of being a party pooper (which considering my recent bowel issues is very apt).
If you give me a survey asking me when I felt sad today don’t be surprised when I write “I felt sad when I was made to fill in a survey detailing my emotional state”. If you ask me how many cups of tea I have drank it feels like I am being monitored on my non-work activities and I end up getting thirsty, and this makes me sad.
I’m being asked how many times I hear someone say “Can” or “Fun”, so I am no longer listening to what anyone is telling me but playing ‘Buzzword Bingo’ instead. I am asking everyone what that high-kicking French dance is just so I can get a full house.
If any company needs advice on how to make me feel better about my job or provide a better customer experience then rather than some happy-clappy activity here are a few every day suggestions that matter:
- Give me the technology I need to deliver
- Remove the barriers and roadblocks I face daily
- When I need help give it to me
- Be consistent
- Pay me