It happens a lot, especially at the beginning of the week.  You arrive to work (or more recently on the team zoom call) and ask a colleague how they are doing.  Inevitably, you get the response “It’s Monday”.  Seldom, if ever, is that stated with enthusiasm.  Rather, it is said with drudgery and scorn.  Life sucks again because the weekend is over, and the person is stuck back at work.  Isn’t it interesting that the whole work week now has emotion attached to it?  Wednesday? HUMP DAY!  We are halfway to the good life of the weekend.  Friday? – heck, there is a whole bar/restaurant chain named after that day – TFI Fridays (or Thank God its Friday).

How did we get to this place where work sucks? 

My father passed away many years ago at a young age – he was only 58.  He told me on his death bed that he hated his job.  It struck me to my very core.  This man who was my hero had a fatal flaw that I never knew about.  He hated his job AND If HE hated his job surely there was no hope for anyone else. 

That is when I set out on my quest to Desuckify Work

To me the central tenets of a great place to work are awesome leadership, great culture and engaged employees.  Think of these tenets as legs on a three-legged stool.  If one is out of alignment with the other, you’ve got an unstable stool.  The same holds true for organizations.  You may have the best trained leaders in the history of humankind, have a great culture as measured by some “Best Employer in the Whole Wide World” campaign, but your employees are disengaged.  On the surface, it seems like you and your organization should be rocking it.  Instead, you are getting by.  Why?  Because one of the pieces of the puzzle isn’t quite right.

Its time to fix that. 

We need to ensure our leaders are in fact leaders and our manager are managers – let’s stop confusing the two.  Both are important and relevant.  But let’s be honest, one is held in higher regard than the other.  So, everyone wants to be a leader – let’s stop that.  And for those that have been given the awesome responsibility of being a leader, let’s get really good at it.  In today’s world we need really good leaders not just because of the pandemic but because the very forces of employment are shifted beneath our feet.  Employees have the power now and will be a lot more selective about where they want to hang out.  You better be able to lead them well or they will go elsewhere.

Let’s get better at building the right culture for our organizations.  No, there is no one universal culture that is best because every organization is different.  But there is a culture that is right for your organization, its strategy, and the market(s)you compete in.  If your organization is in a highly competitive, constantly changing market, you are going to be hard pressed to compete by embracing a family type of culture.  The culture you build and maintain needs to align with your strategy which should be driven by market forces.  Unfortunately, culture is often left to chance, and organizations falter.

Finally, let’s get focused on employee engagement.  Far too often we look at engagement as the results from “smile sheets”.  Yet, the research is clear – there are many layers to engagement all intertwined in a complicated web.  Sure, we want to understand employees’ dedication, effort, and interest – these are core engagement measurements.  But there is more to the story – employee satisfaction and employee commitment – why people stay at your organization also plays a role.  Let’s get better at understanding how these work together.

If I have whetted your appetite, check out my book ‘Desuckify Work’ available on Amazon –

And let’s all start Desuckifying Work!