Every Sunday evening, many front line employees and even some managers experience the blues, an awful feeling of dread and depression as they consider going back to work. Patrick Lencioni acknowledges this common experience in his book, The Three Signs of a Miserable Job: A Fable for Managers (and their employees), Jossey-Bass 2007. He explains that our jobs are often miserable because we don’t understand how our work makes a difference and we can not measure our own progress. Furthermore, we often feel like no one cares about our work. The result is that many employees feel anonymous and irrelevant.
Great managers understand this reality and work hard to not let it happen within their circle of influence. They strive to point out how the work their people are doing matters. They want employees to know that they are not seen as mere workers but as individuals with unique gifts and talents. They remind others that their presence in the work place is important and does make a difference.
The key to this whole process is to answer three questions that Lencioni puts forth in the aforementioned book:
- Do I really know my people?
- Do they know who their work impacts and how?
- Do they know how to assess their own progress or success?
When we create this depth of clarity and alignment within all that we do as leaders and as managers, then we create a powerful and focused culture through out the organization, one where the blues on a Sunday evening rarely happen.