Have you been tired, stressed, and overworked lately? Has the joy you once had at work been drained by the people and circumstances around you? If so, you are not alone. In fact, according to the NIOSH report, about 40% of all workers in the U.S reported that their jobs are “very or extremely” stressful. (source: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/99-101/pdfs/99-101.pdf?id=10.26616/NIOSHPUB99101). If you are working in a tough or a stressful work environment, there is hope. Personally, I can relate to being stressed at work, but when I apply these principles to how I approach my job, I find that I become less stressed.
- Maintain a good work ethic. –Yes, there have been several times during the whole of my work career in various places where I have been tempted to quit. However, something inside of me, probably the Spirit of God, urges me on. This has helped me continue to persevere in spite of everything else inside of me screaming to “QUIT” or “Slack off.” Always do your best, and never let anyone else convince you to do otherwise. If you feel aimless or that you are just “going through the motions” at work, try to have a mindset of trying to learn everything you can to boost your credentials at work. This will also help you in case of layoffs, to be more indispensable and more likely to be secure in your job, or being more easily able to find another good job if that should happen. For instance, at my job, I have aimed to learn how to cashier, because I know that cashiering is an essential part of retail, and without these skills, I would be less likely to be able to move up or be versatile in the company I work for. Now, my managers are able to use me to cashier in case the regular cashiers call in sick or we are shorthanded.
- Encourage others.—I have found that many people in various workplaces and in places where some of my friends work are in desperate need of encouragement and validation. If you see someone going above or beyond, or are providing their clientele with excellent service, let a manager know that. More importantly, let the person know that they are doing a good job and that you value them. Be specific in your compliments. Don’t just say, “ You work very hard,” which can be good, but would mean more if you said something like, “ Joe, I appreciate how you took care of that customer today, making sure they had everything they needed, and making them feel valued through your patience and making sure all their questions were answered.” If you must criticize, assure the person that you still value them in other ways. Never put down someone just to break their spirit. It is mean, callous, unnecessary, and ineffective in motivating people to do their best work.
- Have a servant’s heart.—Be willing to help others where needed, without stressing yourself out. When someone feels overwhelmed by their work, and you are able to help them, do so. If someone is going through a tough time and confides in you about it, offer to pray or help them in any way you can. When Jesus washed His disciples feet, He modeled for them—and us—a model we should all follow. We should not only model that in church or at home, but also in the workplace. Managers, never be “too busy” to help and guide your associates. Associates, be willing to do what your managers says, not only to be respectful, but also to help them through their struggles and lift a burden off them.
If we modeled a good work ethic, by persevering and doing our best, if we encouraged our co-workers, bosses, and clients/customers instead of putting them down, and if we had a servants’ heart approach to the tasks needed to be done at work, instead of only looking to our own interests, we could boost morale at our workplace significantly. By following these principles, not only will we boost morale, but we also will also build our integrity, which is something worth living for, in all areas of our lives.