Is the Recession a Big, Fat, Lazy Excuse?

Organizational culture Respect Teamwork


In our current recession-framed, uncertain economic environment, heads are down, tails up and understandably focused on survival in the work place. Under these conditions, it’s easy to lose sight of our humanity. Organizations are only as complete as the people that make it work.

I’m not talking about BIG things here; how about the small stuff that leads to the big stuff? …greeting team members with a smile and personal acknowledgment? …getting to personally know people outside of our immediate area? …having fun and hoopla in the work environment? The preceding things require the investment of care and intention for each other. In most cases acting on them is totally FREE if we want it to be. So the recession and related impacts can become a big lazy excuse for not taking care of each other. It’s all too easy to have work become just a place of commercial or political transactions. When we spend as much time at work as we do, who wants just that? Great teams are full of life and energy. They have fun together. They respect each other. They recognize that collective success is based on connected, vibrant, individual contribution – the weakest link concept.

Character Move: honestly evaluate yourself on the following, regardless of what role you have in the company or organization you’re part of:

  1. Do you greet people with a respectful acknowledgment when you interact, even just passing by? Do you know their names and something about them personally? That is to say: what they like to do, what they’re good at and the contribution they make to the company.
  2. In your sphere of influence (regardless of how small or big), do you influence fun and hoopla? Do you: Bringing in cupcakes? Having a pot luck? Having contests? Sports pools? Baby picture contests? Cube decorating? Birthday celebrations? Anniversary celebrations? And 100s of much more creative ideas?
  3. If you want to get blown away look at the “free” stuff great companies like Zappos do?

Sometimes we all need a good kick in the pants. This blog is everyone’s, at every level of responsibility. If respect and fun are left to the HR department or any other function, my belief firmly establishing these principles will not become deeply and permanently embedded in the corporate culture. We need to care for each other and to have fun.

Respect and Fun daily in the Triangle,