Be The Change…

Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.

Photo by h.koppdelaney

I’m going to take a diversion from the standard Wednesday topic of simplicity to give you a simple example of how we can be the change we want to see…

A few months ago, morale at my workplace was terrible. There were layoffs, mass resignations, furloughs, long hours, and general misery. Our corporate office, in another state, was hosting celebrations and tossing us scraps. Most of my coworkers dealt with all of this by complaining long and loud. Since we work in a cube farm, the complaints were hard to ignore.

So rather than heading for the door, I decided to do something small. I wanted to build morale just a bit at a time. I wanted to make work a fun place to come to. Or at least in the short term, get people to smile for one bit of one day. Worst case, I figured, I might be the only one having fun, but I was going to try.

I went to the office manager and enlisted her support, then got it approved up the chain (two of the approvers didn’t last out the next week). So I went to work. I printed out a few signs, put a signup sheet in the break room, and had the office manager email we would be doing a potluck the next week. A few brave souls signed up. I guilted a few more into participating. And we had fun.

The next month we celebrated International Talk Like A Pirate Day with costumes, a rather racy quiz, and a showing of “Down Periscope”. The smiles started. Even though the prizes were Dollar Store items glammed up with stick-on jewels, the winners were proud and excited, brandishing plastic swords and hooks around the office.

It’s been growing. The simple idea has turned into a monthly movie-at-lunch, a themed event, and other fun ideas tucked here and there.

The events are filled with people talking, laughing and having a good time. They take that back to their desks, and there isn’t so much complaining anymore.

So my question for you…what is a simple idea that you could implement to make a small change? What is the worst that could happen? Or the best? Think about it, and share below if you wish.

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Photo by h.koppdelaney