Do you have fun at work? On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being “Absolutely, yes I do!”), how much fun do you have? Every year, the CCCC staff completes the Best Christian Workplace survey and every year I answer that question with a resounding 5 out of 5!
What makes work fun
There are ups and downs of course, but overall I have a ball of fun at work because:
- I have a lot of freedom in how I perform my work. My board has told me what our mission is and the few things that I must not do (we’re a policy board). Think of it as a fence around my playground. Inside the playground, I have freedom to play as I want. In practical terms, this means I have the freedom to think creatively about the future and what I’d like to see CCCC do.
- I believe I can make our vision a reality. By approving our budget, and by being supportive of my leadership, the board has given me the resources to implement our vision and change the world through our members. I feel empowered by the board. Psychologists call this self-efficacy, the belief that I am strong and capable. It reminds me of Helen Reddy’s 1972 hit, I Am Woman. Remember the chorus? “I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman”? Okay, that’s enough of a trip down memory lane. The point is that self-efficacy is what turns dreamers and visionaries into doers and achievers and it gives me hope and optimism.
- I can bring all of my experience, education, gifts and skill to bear on the vocation to which I’ve been called. Recently someone asked me a lot of questions about what I think of my job, and then he said, “You are self-actualized in every way at work.” Wow, self-actualized! When I heard that, I was instantly absorbed in even more memories – 1978 – Wilfrid Laurier University – Organizational Behaviour – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs! I’ve never thought of myself as self-actualized because in Maslow’s model you only get to self-actualization when all other needs have been met. How do you ever know, really, that you have fulfilled achievement, confidence, love or belonging needs? So I don’t know if I have achieved the state of self-actualization or not. However, since self-actualization is the motivation to realize your own maximum potential and possibilities, I know I am working at it, and the result is that, at work, I feel fully alive in an exciting world. (I feel good at home and elsewhere too, but that’s not the subject of this post.)
- My work contributes to my sense of significance. Everybody wants their life to count for something, so we look for significance in our families, friends, churches, and in our work. Since so much of our lives is given to our careers, it is really nice when our careers contribute to our sense of significance. Several times a week, we at CCCC get emails from members telling us how much people appreciate us. We get praise for a lot of things we do because ministry workers say that we help them do their work better. Their affirmation tells me that the work that I perform at CCCC does make a difference, and therefore I have a greater feeling of significance by contributing to God’s work through my vocation.
Fun among the team
This is all well and good for me, but what about the members of the CCCC team? What about your own team members? Are these joys just for the team leader? By no means! Every team member can and should experience these same joys! Don’t we all want to be significant? To use our gifts for God’s purposes? To have the freedom to dream and then act on those dreams? Imagine if every person under your leadership could truly say:
- I have maximum freedom to do my job within the boundaries set by leadership
- I believe I can do my part to make our vision a reality
- I can bring all of my experience, education, gifts and skill to bear on the vocation to which I’ve been called
- My work contributes to my feeling of significance
Just as the board has set the boundaries for me and then let me do my job, so should I set the boundaries for staff and then let them do their jobs. You can do this too. What creativity would result? What new energy would be brought to bear on our missions? What might be the results! Let’s find out!