Find a crummy job and do a makeover on it // 08.14.2008 at 11:51 AM
by Tim Sanders
Category: Quality of Work Life
I just had a chance to read about Patrick Lencioni's new business fable: The Three Signs Of A Miserable Job, and it got me thinking about how we need to be better designers of the work experience.
Too many companies have dozens of jobs that are thankless, never measured, highly repetitive and soul-sucking. Think about it, I bet if you walked around today for fifteen minutes with eyes-wide-open you could find a few of these jobs.
You might just rationalize that, "I've had terrible jobs too, as I climbed the ladder." That is a cop out. No one should have a miserable job -- no great employer would stand for it. No one should die a little at work every day, it is not right. If you want your company to truly be socially responsible, wipe out crummy jobs.
The best way to be a business leader in the social century is to redesign crummy jobs into inspiring vocations. This redesign would add a few essential ingredients:
- A way to measure success
- A rotation of space, place and task to reduce mindless work
- Elimination of any working space to be devoid of natural light (if facility limitations exist, rotate space)
- Provisions that guarantee interactions with other people both individually and in groups (reverse team building to first draft front line taskers and only if necessary include top performers and executives).
Suggestion: Find one crummy job today. Interview the employee to find out what they wish the company would start doing, stop doing and continue doing. Propose a redesign next week where you imagine that the employee is your relative.
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