There seems to be a natural tension between employee and employer. At the company I was at before, though widely known for its many good works in the community, there was a massive turnover of employees before year three. The number one cause cited in exit interviews was poor management.
Perhaps our American way of life and it's sway towards freedom doesn't meld well with the hierarchical system of management. While I think that certainly some of the tension is due to the feelings of the employee, I think there's a bigger problem. When things get tight, we forget that we're both dealing with people. As the employee, it's easy for me to blame the giant faceless company for my problems. As the company, it's easy to forget that by simply taking care of one's employees, the entire company will be lifted.
Despite the animosity that generally fills the halls of office spaces across the country, what your company does says little about you. How you function, perform, and exceed expectations in any work environment, toxic or not, says everything about you as a person.
Your job does not define you. Your work ethic does.
Let's face it, we live in a victim culture. If only the company treated me better, if only my manager understood my work style, if only I didn't have to file this weekly report, THEN I could succeed!
A solid work ethic blasts through excuses and outperforms no matter what obstacles or seemingly inane tasks are assigned. A strong work ethic is rooted in the principle that St. Benedict stressed so beautifully, "work and pray." Your work is a prayer. Your work is a reflection on you, your family, and your values.
Your work, in some way, shape, or form, helps someone else. If you're a customer care phone bank operator, you ease a customer's problem. If you work at a factory, you make a product so the customer doesn't have to. If you work at a fast-food restaurant, you give people the ability to not have to worry about preparing that particular meal.
So when you mail it in, fewer people are helped. That customer is frustrated for a few more hours, that customer has to build that product themselves or find someone else to do it, that customer (who's probably really tired or just having a bad day) has to forage for food.
When you start to recognize that your work matters, that doing your job in the spirit of prayer and service is as efficacious as praying a Rosary, things will happen.
When you engage with your work in that way, people will start to notice. A strong work ethic in today's workforce is practically a unicorn. Good things will follow. Maybe not today, maybe not this month, but when you come up for a review, things will happen.
Work is good. Work is holy. Work lets you do amazing things for your family, like eat or go on vacation.
Let's stop being victims. Let's be a bright spot in our company.