The Friday Free Job Day

musical-chairs

According to a fictitious survey in the Australian Financial Review, I work for one of the most innovative companies in Australia, and I know why!

One of the activities that differentiates my company from our competition, is a highly anticipated employee event that occurs without fail on the last Friday of the month. No, it’s not allowing staff to wear casual clothes (which happens weekly anyway – see rules below), it’s our Friday Free Job Day (FFJD).

So what is this FFJD and how does it work you may ask?

Well, it’s surprisingly simple, and the process has produced some remarkable process improvements, but more importantly, a truly dynamic and progressive culture of innovation within our company.

At precisely 6 PM on the last Thursday night of the working month, each employee is sent an SMS that advises them what job they will be doing the following day so they can dress, and mentally prepare accordingly. For instance, I might be advised that I will be the CEO, the CFO, the Marketing Director, the Head of HR, or the Office Manager, just to name a few. When I arrive at my allocated office on the Friday morning, the actual person fulfilling that job has vacated their office and has left me a list outlining the 5 biggest challenges hindering them in their role. My task for that day is to explore ideas that address, and potentially solve the 5 outlined issues. At the conclusion of the day, I leave my ideas of solution on their desk for them to review, consider and to explore further when they arrive at work on Monday morning.

Through the use of a fresh set of eyes, the results have been staggering, but more importantly, the positive impact on employee morale has been phenomenal.

Another derived benefit of the FFJD process is that each employee gains a greater insight into how the business operates, and how their role impacts those around them.

So for those companies that think Casual Friday is a sign of your corporate innovation brilliance, think bigger, try the Friday Free Job Day once a month and the results achieved will happily surprise you.

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Commandments for Casual Friday Attire:
https://thinkingfuturethoughts.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/commandments-for-casual-friday-attire/

It’s all about Passion!

Passion Lives Here ...

That “P-word” is so obvious in some companies that when you walk into their corporate office foyer, you don’t need a dictionary to understand how to spell it, nor a thesaurus to interpret what it means, you can just sense and feel it. Yes, that “P-word” is “Passion”.

No, I’m not talking that form of “passion” where you see employees drooling over each other in lustful scenarios that may embarrass the observer. I’m referring to that enthusiastic and contagious behaviour that permeates within an organization that has that right mix of employee engagement and a personal and committed belief in the future growth of the business.

In the September 2014 edition of The Australian Financial Review “Boss” Magazine, there is an article that lists “The Best Places to Work”. As you read about each of these top 25 companies, the word “passion” is very apparent and is a consistent underlying theme in all of them.

So, how does one achieve “passion” in business? To me, it’s quite simple. Forget all your HR and other detailed analyses of employee engagement strategy pontification, let’s just focus on the basics.

According to the Free Dictionary (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/passion):
Passion: A powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger

The key in this definition are the words “powerful emotion”. When you are really passionate about someone, your have an intense and powerful desire to be with them, to see them, to have them continually in your life. The experience benefits you and you want more and more of the encounter. It is a bit like a drug that you want to continually consume.

Unfortunately, many employees don’t have any passion in their jobs and want to get out of the office as quickly as possible. So who is the blame for this passion abstinence? No, in the majority of cases it’s not the employee, but the employer.

Most corporate organizations have the best intentions in trying to motivate and inspire their employees. However, employees seem to have an inbuilt “Bollocks Meter” that measures whether the senior management team are sincere, walking the talk, or just going through the motions with yet another passing fad that will soon diminish with time.

Corporate passion can’t be bought. It needs to be lived and exemplified in all activities of the business. The passion crux is when employees want to be at work as they believe that it benefits their own well-being, those around them, and their customers. If the business is just transactional, then passion has minimal hope in succeeding.

Yes…..it’s all about the passion!

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