The work environment is a place of beauty for some, terror for many, and a stressful reminder of dumb some people can be for most. Many people have jobs that produce some type of stress from time to time, which is natural. A key client gets angry with the level of service they are receiving, a project is behind schedule and key stakeholders are getting agitated and demanding resolution times, or they are company processes in place that seem to do nothing but hinder the ability to make meaning change or progress.
With the amount of time people spend at work weekly it’s natural to dread the workplace from time to time. While most people are not in position to completely change their companies environment to eliminate stress or negative things, there is hope. Most employees have more power than they realize when it comes to the culture of where they work. While they may not have hiring/firing power, or the ability to change company processes they do have things in their control.
Everyone has the ability to decide how they act and behave daily. You can choose to get mad at things at work or change things in your control. You can check out when company processes get in the way or find ways around them. You can get mad at restrictions in place that restrict how effective you can be at work or push your team to adapt.
While I was adapting from the startup world to corporate IT I had a revelation one day, I have more control in the workplace than I realized. I pondered ways to make meaningful change to make work fun and productive and then my business coaching kicked in. Being intentional about what you want out of any situation (work or personal) is the best way to affect change. So to be intentional about creating change in the workplace I change up with my own work manifesto.
- I must never feel that my desire to better the team is a bad thing.
- I should never feel that my drive to take on challenges is bad.
- I never want to work on a team with small minded team members.
- I should be on a team with motivated team members who strive to do the most important work each day.
- I should have a manager than understands my drive, ambition, and motivation to always get better.
- I must be on a team that values growing each other, not keeping knowledge and support in a silo.
- I must be allowed to do work that is original, engaging, and that pushes the business forward.
I could have made my work manifesto more paragraph form and typed out, but I’m more of a list guy and the main point of the work manifesto is to have a reference document to guide how you want to work.
Now just creating this document doesn’t do anything, being intentional about creating it and referencing it from time to time helps guide my actions. Call it more of my work compass, the work manifesto guides how I interact with my co-workers, what direction I push for in meetings, and what I ask for from management to support my continued direction forward. It’s refreshing to have this work manifesto to keep going back to monthly, as it reminds me not to get comfortable or settle for less.
I encourage you to take time and create your own work manifesto. What do you expect from co-workers? What support do you need from your company? What is not acceptable? Once you create your work manifesto decide how private or public you want to be with it. If you feel uncomfortable sharing it with anyone then keep it private, but still stay true to it. If you feel comfortable sharing it publicly then do so, and push other people around you to expect better for themselves as well. Regardless of how open you are with your work manifesto, my hope is that you create a meaningful document that reminds you that having expectations and goals is a great thing and that you need to continue working towards them.