Spread a Little Sunshine!

Good morning, and happy Friday! I hope your day is starting off well.

My grandson used to tease me about my morning greeting in these posts. “Hi good morning man. I hope your day is starting off well.” Okay, I must say that a lot. But it’s something that comes naturally. At work, I’m known as the Walmart greeter of the 5th floor because I say good morning to everyone. And I begin every email or text message with “I hope you’re having a nice day.”

I just find it to be a lot more personal than, “Hi – I need some help from you, and I’m hoping you’ll drop everything you were doing at the moment to read this message and answer my question.” It befriends the person you’re speaking with, and friends tend to work well together. Besides, I really DO hope they’re having a nice day. I hope everybody is.

Years ago, we had a woman in the front office who was over-the-top bubbly all the time. I only saw her upset once, and she tried to hide that. And, any time I needed anything from anybody in the front office, I went to see Amy. Even if she had to send me to somebody else, I just walked away feeling better. Have you ever met anyone like that?

And yet, one day as some of us were working on the shop floor, she came by to talk to one of the guys about something. As she left, he looked at the rest of us and said, “I can’t stand somebody who always wants to blow sunshine up my (behind).” Okay, that’s not exactly the word he used, but you get the idea. He was verbally trashing her for trying to make his day better.

I remember thinking, seriously? With all the foul moods and bickering in the shop, how could anybody begrudge a person who went out of her way to spread a little cheer? And trust me, that place needed all the help it could get. Maybe because they hired too many people like my coworker who, although very good at his job, would rather spread negativity than receive happiness.

Every employer knows the value of morale and camaraderie. When you have a group of people who view one another as friends, where smiles and warm greetings are abundant, they not only work well together, but their own individual productivity is better as well. And that can be seen on the bottom line of the Profit & Loss statement.

The problem is, too many employers don’t pay attention to morale until it’s too late. On the job I was describing, most people weren’t happy. We did our job because was somebody was watching through the office window to make sure we did. After a while, verbal and physical altercations became a common occurrence. And productivity was at an all-time low. Go figure.

And it would be easy to put all the blame on the managers who saw employees as lazy people who won’t do anything unless you constantly crack the whip, and who viewed social interaction as a work interruption. But the truth is, we were as much to blame as they were. It was our company as much as it was theirs. And we created the work environment – all they did was supervise.

There will always be days at work when things aren’t going well. I had one of them yesterday. After spending almost two days chasing an issue, I found out it had been solved months ago and all that work was for nothing. It was nobody’s fault, and it could happen again tomorrow. But suffice to say I left work feeling pretty discouraged.

It happens to all of us. Somebody gets upset because of something you did, and someone else is peeved because of something you didn’t do. Or maybe you just didn’t do it to their satisfaction. We’ll start a project, only to have it yanked out from under us. Equipment breaks, supplies run out, a customer vents their frustration with somebody else on you, whatever. We all have bad days.

And the truth is, there’s often very little we can do to keep these things from happening. But it’s how we react to those situations that makes or breaks the day. Even more importantly, our reaction can make or break the day for the person working alongside us. And that’s what drives morale. It all comes back to the people who have the most to lose (or gain) from it.

It all begins with a smile. It may not make all the bad stuff go away, but it changes the way we let it affect us. It puts us in control. And it rubs off on everyone around us. There are few things in this world more powerful than a team working toward the same goal. And when that goal is happiness, just think of all the great things we can accomplish.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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