By: Douglas Hollon, coach, public speaker, and blogger at
Last week an email went out to all employees at a company promoting National Fun at Work Day, and that board games would be available all day in an upstairs breakroom.
I applaud the email and applaud the effort that someone is placing on this event, however, my question is this: With a fifteen-minute break in the morning, a thirty-minute break at lunch, and a fifteen-minute break in the afternoon, when are the hourly-wage employees supposed to take the time to play a board game?
I have played boardgames. Monopoly and Risk typically take hours. Even Chess and Checkers would easily exceed the 15-minute break timeframe. So when should the hourly-wage employees plan to play a board game. The reason I specify hourly-wage employees is because those employees are treated differently than salaried employees.
Hourly employees must adhere to a strict scheduled of start time, break times, and end of the day time.
Salaried employees do not. Salaried employees can vary their schedule each day if needed or if desired. Breaks and lunches can be taken when desired, as long as a meeting is not scheduled that may affect those breaks, and salaried employees may or may not work a full 8-hour shift. I have seen salaried employees work any where from 6 to 8 hours and leave for the day without anything stated by management, no time to make up, and no vacation or FTO time required. I witnessed one salaried employee work 8:30am to 5pm each day with a 1-hour lunch break for years. Doing the math, that is a 7 ½ hour work day. That equates to 2.5 hours per week and over 100 hours per year not worked by a salaried employee. An Hourly employee does not have that luxury with the same company.
So, you may ask yourself, where am I going with all this?
Instead of celebrating or recognizing one day as National Fun at Work Day, why not make every day at work fun, or at least joyful. Why should one day be specified for fun and the other 250 plus work days not be fun?
Here are my suggestions:
- Respect and Common Courtesy – treating a person with common courtesy and respect goes a long way. I am not speaking of just greeting them each day and ask how they are doing. If you are a supervisor, it is vital to success of the team that you get to know each of the persons on your team. Genuinely, get to know them. Know whether they are married or not, have kids or not, have pets, what are their interests outside of work, what are their dreams, their goals, what do they wish to accomplish, and especially their Why?
- Their Why? What gets them out of bed each morning? What make them want to commute up to one hour one-way each day looking at red tail lights? What drives them?
- Their Drive. Know their personality. How do you find out their personality? One way is the D.I.S.C. profile. This profile will help you better understand who your team members are and what their tendencies will be under pressure. Knowing your team member’s strengths and tendencies will help you, as a supervisor, better assign the work and projects.
A few years ago, the USA Today did a study, and they asked the Employers what do you think your employees want. The Employers response was the employees want 1. More Money, 2. Job Security, and 3. Opportunity for Advancement, in that order of preference.
Then, the persons doing the study asked employees what they wanted from their workplace. They were asked what was most important to them. The employees answered 1. Wanted Interesting Work, 2. Appreciation for the work they had completed, and 3. They wanted the feeling of being “in” on things. They did not want to learn from the grapevine or through office rumors what is going on in the company.
Money was rated as Ninth in preference, Job security was rated number 12, and Opportunity for Advancement was number 13. Not 1, 2, and 3 as the Employer believed. (1)
In conclusion, every day at work can be fun and more importantly, fulfilling when the Employer or Supervisor promotes and provides the correct work environment. A work environment of respect and common courtesy, knowing their team members and what drives them to be who they are, and why they do what they do each day.
It is about Relationship.
- “Strategies for Success” CD – Zig Ziglar
About Douglas Hollon:
Doug is a Leadership and Personal Success coach who focuses on helping each person lead his or her employees or family with extraordinary success, and he helps each person to be the best person he or she can be. His emphasis is on team leaders and fathers of blended families. He brings a lot of dedication, loyalty, and compassion and enjoys working with clients in the areas of personal development, building winning relationships, and goal setting.
Doug has completed 48 Days DISC Certification and is currently working toward being a certified 48 Days Coach through our Coaching Mastery Program. His background includes: Leading Teams (business and military), Personal Development, and Personal Finance/Credit Reporting. You can find out more about him by visiting his website www.expresswaycoaching.com .