WorkJoy: Loving Your Work

What if we could scan our calendars and re-live every day in 2017, looking at the “love factor” of our work? How many of those days would we be able to say, “Now THAT was a great day because I absolutely loved what I did and the outcome”? Certainly, we couldn’t say that about every day, but it’s those days, all linked together, which contribute to loving our work.


Markus Buckingham says, “Decades of research prove that doing what you love every day is the #1 driver of both engagement and performance. People are most creative, resilient, attractive, happy, and motivated when they play to their strengths most of the time. This is not a belief. It’s the science.”


On those days when we experience joy in our work, memorable things happen.  We can actually remember being filled with great emotion and joy. It might have been a simple, subtle compliment or praise by your supervisor or co-worker. Or the time your team celebrated when you won the competition for an innovative process that had never been tried before. Or maybe the time when someone left a Starbucks gift card on your desk, acknowledging your birthday. You might ask, “How does this relate to loving your work?” The answer: because your friend at work cares about you.


Peter Drucker, the Management Guru, says, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Whether people love their work or not, depends highly on the culture of an organization. You can feel this just by walking through the door of a great company. Several years ago, I made a presentation at Southwest Airlines. When I walked into their headquarters at LUV Field in Dallas, there was a sense of awe that was present. Their culture is attracting great talent.


Here are some more companies that possess a culture that is contagious, inviting, rewarding, fulfilling and purposeful: In-N-Out Burger, Microsoft, Hilton, Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Apple. Companies like these have figured out what motivates their employees, and what keeps the “joy factor” at a high level.


After researching this topic on loving your work, here is a list of things that seem to be valued in great companies and yes, churches too.  Compare this list with experiences you have encountered:


  1. The mission is clear and is part of everyone’s work
  2. Collaboration takes place
  3. Family is the environment
  4. Projects and activities are enjoyable
  5. Trust is a reality
  6. You have a voice
  7. No one is working out of fear
  8. It’s just a fun place to work and laughter is the norm
  9. Leaders are servants
  10. Improvement is encouraged
  11. Management is a companion, not the police
  12. Freedom is the norm
  13. There are good employee benefits
  14. You are recognized as a contributor
  15. Curiosity is everyone’s style
  16. Job titles are not important
  17. Honoring conversations happen regularly
  18. Taking risks are rewarded
  19. Mastery is always celebrated
  20. People care about others
  21. People encourage each other
  22. People are not hired to a job description
  23. Annual reviews are replaced by encouraging conversations
  24. Great stories are common
  25. Serving others happens outside the organization
  26. People do little things for their co-workers
  27. Humility is modeled
  28. Giving credit to others is common
  29. Innovation is the goal of everyone
  30. Surprise visits by your boss happen to encourage you

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