Why I Want My Employees to LOVE Their Jobs
It’s ironic that this month’s office Hump Day Jam is about disgruntled employees attempting to kill their boss. Having a happy, productive, enjoyable work environment is the cornerstone of my business. In fact, one of the jokes around the “Kill Boss Tango” photoshoot was how they were getting paid to dress up and pretend they were killing me!
So, why would I do that? I mean, why would I encourage my employees to dress up and have fun both on and off the clock? The answer is simple: Because it makes everyone happy.
There’s a buzz going around the business world these days about having “happy offices” and focusing on a better quality of life for employees. I never thought much about this concept since I worked for myself, by myself for most of my adult life. JaimeeDesigns.com was started in 2007 by me, and I was the sole employee until 2013. Now we have a staff of four, and suddenly my thoughts about workplace enjoyment has shifted.
Call me a people pleaser if you want, but I want my staff to actually enjoy coming to work in the mornings. I want them to feel like they are important. I want them to feel like they are part of something larger than themselves. I want them to discover what makes them come alive.
Some of my intentions are purely altruistic. I really do want the people who work for my business to have a higher quality of life and be treated with the respect they deserve. Life shouldn’t be drudgery. But I have to admit I have an ulterior motive. I want my employees to LOVE coming to work so that I don’t have to push them to work. It’s that simple. I’m too lazy to micromanage a bunch of unhappy servants.
Why does the crew love coming to work?
- We have morning meetings. Yes, I could save time (and make more money) if I just handed out tasks like a school teacher, but I have found that coming together in the mornings, sharing how we are doing that day, and talking about all of the projects going on gives each team member the opportunity to discuss issues, set priorities, delegate tasks, plan meetings, and feel like that are supported. It also gives each employee the opportunity to show the group what they are working on, which builds confidence.
- We cross-train. One of our team members is a natural graphic designer, another is great with organization and management. Most employers would assign project management to one person and the design projects to the other. Not here. I like to mix the tasks up for each team member so they have an opportunity to grow dormant skills. Cross training builds confidence and promotes team work as the person with more experience ends up helping the person with less. In the end, no one is “stuck” doing the same thing all of the time, and there’s room for surprise talents to emerge.
- We learn more than web design. I enjoy using our experiences with clients to teach my team about relationships, entrepreneurship, and communication. I’m a believer in the power of observation. I like for my team to watch how I interact with clients and how I handle tough situations. I encourage them to work with me through the thought process behind decisions I have to make. Not only can the communication skills be used with future clients, but my team members can put the wisdom to use in their personal lives too, which will improve their relationships with friends, family and partners outside of the office. I want my office to grow terrific people and world-class citizens, not just worker bees who do exactly what they are told and nothing more.
- Compliments abound. I believe a job well-done deserves recognition, and I’m not afraid to tell everyone what I like about them every day. Sometimes it’s a great outfit or a funny joke. Other times I recognize a new skill or a great idea. Whatever it is, I do my best to acknowledge beauty, talent, and great customer service. No one forgets how you make them feel.
- We work through issues calmly and with compassion. Issues do arise and accidents do happen. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s a great opportunity to learn. One of my favorite things to do is pull up a chair with one my employees and watch how they are addressing an email or project. I enjoy pointing out what they are missing and helping them adjust their perspective, thus changing how they see the situation. It’s a calmer way to deal with a problem and the results are almost always positive. The client wins. The employee wins. My business wins.
- We’re growing together. My team is a big part of my business’ growth. They are watching as I make critical decisions to further the overall mission. They are the reason I’m stretching myself to provide more… more money, more work, and more benefits. We are a very small business right now, but we aren’t staying here very long. My eye is on the sky, and these girls know they are coming with me! Hope for a more prosperous future makes everyone happy.
- We have fun. Yes, yes, yes… and we have a lot of fun. People ask how we get any work done with all of the “fun” we have. It’s easy. We have one day of dress up each month. That leaves the rest of the month to do design and web production. I believe a life without fun is a life not worth living… and I enjoy extending that reality to my team as well.
And the end result is my team is dedicated, loyal, punctual, happy, and productive. True, I did luck out when I found these amazing women, but I don’t think it all boils down to “luck.” If being in the office were hell, these girls would have sought out a better workplace already.
The Jaimee Designs Web Studio employees are part of a new movement sweeping across the U.S. It’s a movement focused on workplace enjoyment, positivity, making a difference, workforce training, and higher quality of living. I hope to hear more stories of local businesses doing the same. Let’s make Mississippi the “best place to work” state.
What My Employees Like About Their Jobs…
“With the MANY different jobs I’ve had since the age of seventeen, I’ve never had one that I wanted. If the jobs weren’t miserable, I’d do it to pay the bills. This job is FINALLY where I’m meant to be. Why? Because it doesn’t feel like work, and not just because I get to play dress up from time to time! haha. I’m in a work environment that not only encourages me to be myself but also to express myself. The thing that I love most about my job is the sense of belonging. My boss, coworkers, and I may have come from different walks of life, but we are very like-minded. I belong here with them. Around family & friends, I feel pretty ordinary. At the office, I feel extraordinary. Can’t help but LOVE my job.” – Jodie
“Most of my life, I’ve worked in jobs because I had to have one to pay the bills and the tasks were mundane. Now I’m in the last job I ever want to hold because I feel nurtured, motivated, creative, unique, loved, and a part of a family. The office even feels like my home away from home.” – Melissa