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Friday, November 8, 2019

Lean Quote: Good Work Days Come From Doing Great Work With Great Coworkers

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"I want to be happy. I realized that being happy isn't necessarily about getting there; it's how you get there."  — Ben Huh (CEO, The Cheezburger Network)

Being happy at work is not just about avoiding bad days – it requires having frequent good days, where we actively enjoy our work. A good day at work is one where you feel great on the job. You’re happy at work and you definitely feel like having more of those days.

In a recent survey, 1 out of 3 respondents love their jobs and have a good work day every day or almost every day. That’s heartening, because being happy at work is not just about the absence of bad days – it’s very much about having many good days at work, characterized by positive emotions about your work.

But at the other end of the scale, 22% experience at most 2-3  good work days a month! This means that 80-90% of their work days are neutral at best and bad at worst. We fear it may be the latter. In our 2015 survey of “bad days at work”, 19% reported having a bad day at work every day or almost every day.

Here are the top 5 single factors that cause good days at work:

1. I did work that I knew was meaningful and made a positive difference for someone else.
2. I had freedom to work my own way
3. I did work I was proud of
4. I had fun with my coworkers
5. I did tasks that I enjoy doing

This clearly shows that it feels good to do good work. This contrasts with the depressingly common view that employees must constantly be externally motivated to perform either by the promise of rewards or the threat of reprisals. On the contrary, we seem to like nothing more than the opportunity to shine at work, especially when that work is meaningful and we have the freedom to work our own way.

Good relationships and fun with coworkers also matters and is one of the top causes of good work days.

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