Episode 19: Coffee With Claire Brian Dobbs

About the Show

Episode 19 Finding Fun and Relevance in Your Workplace

There’s a song from the 80’s called “Wham Rap” – yes, Wham actually did do a rap song!  The line that sticks with me in that song is “do you enjoy what you do, if not, just stop, don’t stay there and rot! Yet, so many of us do that every day. We are stuck in a place that does not support our values, our culture, our work ethic, or our creativity. But we go in every day, like zombies, put in our 8 hours, and then leave. Like another 80’s band, Loverboy, said, “Everybody’s working for the weekend.”

Our family situation may be that right now we are where we need to be. We have mouths to feed, mortgages to pay, kids to send to college. So, let’s try to make the best out of the situation. Maybe YOU can be the catalyst of fun for your work place! Now, some of you may be thinking that this sounds crazy, but hear me out. If your boss asks, just have them watch this episode of “Coffee with Claire!” There are huge benefits to being happy in the work place. People are much more creative, more productive, better decision makers, and make better co-workers! They also have fewer absences, are late less often and sick days are reduced because they are having more fun than the people who aren’t having fun!

Another benefit to a happy and productive workplace is that happy people are more loyal- they stick around. And turnover is expensive. It can cost an employer $40,000 or more to replace an employee, and then pay even more to afford their learning curve and ramp-up time. Isn’t it just easier to keep the well-trained people you have and make them happy so they stay?

Of course, the use of humor must be appropriate in nature, as well as how and when it is used. The humor should not be offensive to the ordinary or reasonable person. It is meant to encourage people to see the absurdity in thought processes, perceptions and behaviors. It can also be used to help lighten up situations and reduce the level of conflict or intensity among employees.

What kind of mood do you project to your employees? Remember they will emulate you. Do you walk around with a sour look on your face? If so, you know everyone else will look like they have indigestion too. My guess is that you all are smart leaders and can figure out at least one new thing to try to help lighten up things around where you are. When I worked at TONI & GUY the ladies that worked in my section of the building would take a ”dance break” at 3pm on Friday afternoons, celebrating the fact that they were almost done with the workweek! I’ve worked at other places where certain days were set aside at lunch to have team competitions- chili cook offs, games in the parking lot – things that brought the individual teams together in a friendly way to compete with others in the same building but representing different departments.

At home maybe it’s switching up a routine – drive the kids a different way to school or carve out a craft or baking day once a quarter to bring everyone together for something fun that doesn’t cost a lot of money. Stories told around these activities can help your kids learn a lot about you and your values. Whatever you choose to do, look at this as an opportunity to change your life for the better!