There is a certain nuance to making a big company feel comfortable and happy. The typical perception of the big company environment is one of drudgery, continuous meetings that go nowhere, political posturing between departments and "survival mode" tactics meant to support personal agendas. But not all big companies, or small ones that run like big ones, suffer from this type of environment. Harmony at work is no longer cliche.
It's Thursday afternoon as I walk into the shipping and receiving department. Around me, people are hustling and bustling there way between pallets of products and aisles stacked with boxes. At one point, Bob yells over to Mike, an avid Giants fan: "Hey Mike, you're not a million dollar baseball player, get to work!" Everyone in the room laughs out loud, and Mike reciprocates with "Bob, you only wish you were a Giants fan!" The banter continues, as pallet after pallet make their way onto the loading dock, for pick-up by large corporate carriers.
This is an example of harmony at work -- people who understand what is required, yet are given freedom and empowerment to get things done. How they work satisfies the company needs, yet allows them to have a real sense of ownership in what they do and in the outcome of their actions. They get a real sense of accomplishment, because their actions come with direct feedback.
This may seem all too simplistic to most -- a bunch of shipping and receiving workers loading boxes and managing materials -- but it speaks of a larger and more powerful idea: that in today's economy, businesses need to leverage the strengths of their employees to get the most productivity while providing the best environment for their employees to be productive in.
Harmony at work is no longer just a wish list item -- it is a real, proven way to get your company to be more efficient, to be more active in reaching the bottom line, while at the same time providing a happier environment where people can feel a sense of reward in their work; whether you're signing million-dollar company agreements, managing large corporate divisions, or even packing boxes in shipping and receiving.
So the next time you consider ways to strengthen your company and make it more productive, consider harmony at work -- and think of Bob and Mike.