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Ah, February, the month of Love. Love is in the air. Valentine’s Day is near. Roses and candy and hearts are everywhere. It’s the time to celebrate the love we have for our significant other, our spouse, partner, loved one, our job. What?! Did I just say, love for your job? Yes. I did.
Think about it, most of us spend more time at our place of employment, doing our job, our profession, than we do any other single activity. I know Valentine’s Day is about Celebrating our special relationship with that one particular “Love of our life”. For me, of course it is my wife, Michelle. She is the Love of my Life. But don’t we all also, have a relationship with our job, or the work we do? Today, I would like to take a moment for us to examine what is the health of our relationship with the work we do. How much do we love our work?
Do What You Love & Love What You Do
Let me ask you, from the outset-Do you Love your work? Do you love what you do? Is yours one of those ‘Love-Hate’ relationships that many people talk about when it comes to work? If so, why is that the case? Or, like some, do you say, “I hate my job. I despise my position, profession, the job I do”? And if you don’t like what you do, or you don’t have a love for it, have you ever asked yourself why?
I am of the belief that we should enjoy what we do for a living. We should gain a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction from the work we do. We should be motivated to get out of bed in the morning and be eager to go do whatever it is that we do. There should be something about our job, our work, our career that makes us smile. That gives us pleasure. Do you love your work? Some of you reading this may think, “Well, I’m only a _____________” fill in the blank. “My job is not important, doesn’t really matter.” If you have that mindset, then you have been negatively conditioned by society, the media, your peer group, or a combination of them, to believe that some jobs are more important than others. That some professions are more valuable and make a greater contribution to the company or society.
There are NO “Unimportant” Positions
My wife is a nurse, certainly what she does is more important than a garbage collector, one might think. While I admit that what she does has great value, so does every single person who works in that hospital. There is NO position that is ‘unimportant’.
Michelle, leads a huddle before the start of the shift each day, gathering all the nurses in her unit that will be working that shift and gives them a pep talk, a moment of motivation. I’ve never been because I don’t work there, but she sometimes will relay the story to me. One day she told me that she invited Lucia (not her real name) to join the huddle. Lucia is the hospital housekeeper. Lucia told Michelle she didn’t understand why she is being asked to join the nurse’s huddle. She thought maybe she was in trouble or did something wrong. Michelle, told her no, she wasn’t in trouble, she wanted her to be at the meeting, but didn’t tell her why.
So, when the time came for the huddle, the nurses all gathered and there was Lucia, standing beside them. Some of the nurses knew her, most recognized her, but many didn’t know her or her name. Michelle introduced Lucia to the group and told them that she is the one who cleans, sanitizes, sterilizes and prepares each and every hospital room for their patients. When a patient that was in isolation is discharged from a particular room, that room is contaminated. No patient can be brought into that room until Lucia does her job. An outsider might think that what Lucia does is not as important as the job of the doctors or nurses in that hospital, but without Lucia, the doctors and nurses cannot do their job. If she does not do her job and do it properly and well, then actually people could die. So, some might think it’s only doctors and nurses that save lives, but in reality people like Lucia, actually save lives as well. By cleaning rooms.
On that day, Michelle helped her team, and Lucia to realize how incredibly important each person’s job is. I’ve never met Lucia, but the way Michelle describes her, I know this woman takes pride in what she does AND I’ll bet that she loves her work.
“I am great at what I do, because I love what I do”
It is very common in our society for people to not take pride in their work. The focus is often just upon completing a task. That’s my job, that’s not my job, is often the mentality. So, if a person doesn’t take pride in what they do, and they don’t believe that what they do matters, then how could they be expected to ‘love’ their job? If people can begin to see the bigger picture of how what they do contributes to the overall operation, then it would be easier for a person to take pride in their work. When a person has a sense of pride it will lead to a desire to do the job well which then leads to having a commitment to excellence. When a person realizes that what they do matters and makes a difference and has an impact, then it can lead to that person developing a passion for what they do.
So, let me ask you-does every person on your team really know the value of what they do? Do they receive acknowledgment, encouragement from their supervisors and managers? If you are in management, do you motivate and encourage your team? Do you love or at least express care and appreciation for your employees? Do you inspire your team to love their job? Do you provide an environment where each individual on the team feels valued?
When a person loves what they do, they will be inspired. They will want to do their best. They will care about more than just their specific task. They will care about the overall success of the company or organization.
When someone loves their work it is evident in the way they do their job. When someone loves their work it shines thru in their attitude, in the way they talk to their customers. Am I saying that we are never allowed to have a bad day? Not necessarily. But some people at their work never seem to have a good day. Ever! They clearly DO NOT Love their work.
Passion is Contagious
One great thing about people who love what they do, is that their love for the work often becomes contagious. If you are surrounded by people who have a passion for what they do, chances are it will rub off on you. If you’re not enjoying what you do, maybe you are spending too much time at lunch with commiserating and complaining with others who don’t enjoy working there. As I say in my book, Getting to WOW! : “Passion cannot be taught, nor bought, but I do believe it can be caught.” Perhaps you might want to find someone else you work with who does love the job and emulate that person. I imagine if you do, your attitude and demeanor will begin to change.
I often teach and train front of the house staff for restaurants on Service and Hospitality excellence/Getting to WOW! (like the name of my book). In the restaurant industry, it is very common for staff members to feel that what they do is not important, that some positions are more vital to the company than others. Or even that other careers and industries have more merit.
There are many reasons why people don’t love what they do. One reason could be because you are not doing what suits you. Just because you have a degree in a particular field doesn’t mean that it’s right for you. You’ve got the degree but not the desire. Did you know that most people who suffer a heart attack at work, it occurs on Monday morning? Why? Because they’ve been thinking about and dreading going back to work all weekend. Not loving what you do can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. Job dissatisfaction is a major cause of stress. Don’t stay at a job you don’t love. There’s always other opportunities out there.
I tell every group that I stand in front of that what each person does is so incredibly important. What you do is so much more than serving food and drink to your guests- you are actually uplifting their spirits with your vibrant upbeat attitude and your positive energy. You are providing a memorable experience for them. You are given them a respite from the stress of the week or the day. You are facilitating their celebration of a special occasion.
WE who are in the Service Industry have a unique opportunity to touch people’s hearts and emotions in a positive way. When you realize and understand and begin to embrace the overall picture of what you do and the impact that you can have on others, I believe, it is then quite easy to say, “I love my work”. Oh and by the way, Happy Employees who Love what they do = Happy Customers.
I hope that you will find the joy, passion, and love for what you do. If you don’t love it, change it. Life is too short to spend it doing what you don’t love or enjoy. I’m not saying that there isn’t struggle or difficulty or problems or challenges that come our way. There certainly will be, but wouldn’t you rather go thru those times of struggle and let them be opportunities for personal growth doing something you love, rather than just drudgery as a part of doing something you do not love?
I wish you all a Happy, Joyous, Love-filled Valentines Weekend! And no matter how much you love your work, I hope you take time, make time, to spend time to celebrate and be with the person you love the most. I know I will.
Cheers and thank you for reading!! I so appreciate ALL my Soupfly readers from 108 countries around the world!!
EXCITING NEWS!!! Beginning next week, I will be partnering with UK Online Customer Service/Experience Expert, Ravi Shukle, for a weekly Blab Series focusing on Customer Service/Service & Hospitality Excellence, both in the online and offline world. WE will post details very soon. Our First in the series will be on Thursday, February 18. WE invite you to tune in, join in, call in and together let’s learn how to Elevate our Customer Service and provide the Very Best Service Experience for All our Customers in 2016.
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Elevating Service & Hospitality,
Christoff J. Weihman
Las Vegas, NV