Some companies, especially startups tend more and more to motivate people to work hard and long hours. The Society tends to accept this, but this has bad consequences. I am talking about consequences for the Health and Social Life of the employees and the health / the success of the company as well. Hard work is creating a bubble (or many small bubbles) that will explode in some point: Employees will fall out or leave the company and leave empty space behind, at the employer.
- A motivational Company Speech is like the Wind in the Sails of a Company
- Employees work on the boat to reach the best results with the wind
- The journey is influenced by the crews Skills and Capacities
- Burning out the crew might burn out the company
- Respect your crews’ capacities and needs
- Unhappy crew members leave the ship first.
- Closing Thoughts
A motivational Company Speech is like the Wind in the Sails of a Company
Sometimes I think about some company speeches I heard in my life. A good speaker stays in front or in the middle of an audience – the employees – and talks about his vision. In the most companies where I experienced this, it was more or less the same, a presentation wrapped in a story with motivational voice by the paid Speakers, Top Management or often even by the Founder / CEO.
In short: We are awesome and on the right way. We will change our industry and be the number 1 in the world. As a result are the Investors keen on investing in our company, if we act now smartly and make some key markets strong, so we can show that our system works. After that we are able to conquer the world in a year or two. All you have to do is: Work like machines, work 24/7. We are 1 team. In case you have nothing to do some time, talk to others, you might support them. This will also help you to understand all company processes better and increase the Team Spirit.
With those speeches, companies want to show how the wind blows for the crew to set the Sails of the company to reach the target. This is often done on Christmas Parties or other seasonal events, after closing an Investment Round or just every Friday, choosing different words and slightly different content, showing the Status and Progress as well as the Vision of the company.
Employees work on the boat to reach the best results with the wind
Especially in small companies those speeches are often done by the upper Management and Founders. Some young and talented, highly motivated listeners see this person talking as an idol. They admire him and see him/her as an idol. Therefore they put all their energy and effort into making the company successful, even the number 1 in the market. This is a great highlight in your CV, if the company turns out successful and you were part of it, maybe even in a key function, but is there also a dark side to the story?
I have worked in and know people working in such companies. In most (not even in all) the employees believe in the product and the services provided. They are even proud of it and fans of it. Some things that those companies have in common are regular team events, mostly only drinking alcohol together or going for party. Sometimes the will to work is even that big, that they turn the “team events” into a drinking beer while working event.
In other words: The employees are like a crew on the boat, working with the wind available to reach the Vision of the Captain(s).
The journey is influenced by the crews Skills and Capacities
You might say, the hard work as well as working even during Team-Events, the night and weekends shows a great connection of an employee to the company. Well, everyone reacts differently on this, but what are the results of this? What is the outcomes of drinking beer while working and working 24/7?
Drinking Alcohol influences the consciousness, obviously. This does not only affect your health, but also leads often to inattentiveness and mistakes which also might lead to damages. Finding and enhancing them afterwards causes even more work, in case damages can be repaired. Sometimes damages stay damaged. If you really want to do that, please do at least no complicated work.
Working 24/7 is exhausting. Depending on the type of job you have, it goes to your body muscles and joints or into your Head. Your Brain is also like a muscle. Muscles cannot work nonstop. They are not built for that. Muscles need clear time to relax. Your whole body might show serious reactions, if you do not give it a rest and diversity from only working. You might fall out for some time or in some point just lose your possibilities to work concentrated and proceed. Your whole body starts feeling stressed or working gets an addiction for you. An addiction makes you feeling sick when you are not working for a while / during your well earned holidays. You will quickly get better when you are back at work. Is this your target? Either way is different, but an effect on the health is always available.
The journey on your boat might become dangerous, working too much / without a long break. The crew is simply not built for that. The captain needs to see and accept that. This is for the greater good. There are not without a reason laws and International OSH Standards regulating working conditions. The way and intensity people work influences business, but also the private / social side.
Burning out the crew might burn out the company
Another thing that I recognize in those companies is a high fluctuation. I know some people who give everything for their company – not their own, but the company they work for – and completely forget about their private life. They do this for some time and after a while they feel exhausted and do not see enough return. So they switch. I met someone on a conference once, telling me, he worked his whole life hard for one company and gave everything for the company. He even forgot about his private life. Then, suddenly he was kicked out and was there alone: no friends, no wife, no children, barely contact to his brothers and sisters. He was alone and needed to start new, find something new and new people.
The needs of companies change, just like your private needs and collections in the Fashion Industry change over and over again. Not to forget: also the needs of employees change. Both – Company and Employees – need to respect each others’ changes, they sometimes have to live with each others changes. People that are working 24/7 with a high connection to the work or are maybe even addicted to work, lose their Social contacts and hobbies. The resulting lack of concentration through hard work causes errors and accidents. Reversing errors or accidents is not possible in some cases. People that are burned out and lose their job might have no connection left, so that a Reintegration is necessary.
Now imagine the boat hits another boat, because the crew / employees lost concentration as they are overworked. The damages caused might be big for the whole company.
Respect your crews’ capacities and needs
This is why it is very important for a company to show a Social Responsibility for the employees. Employees should not be asked to work endless hours. It is even smarter to motivate your employees and Team Members to try different things, to develop new hobbies and experience new ways. Only happy employees bring the best results.
An article that shows this even during work, by presenting about Hobbies and Interests is “How to build a team with Knowledge“. An Article that underlines the importance as well is e.g. “How to keep Your Work-Life Balance even (The Samba Way)“. Feel free to also explore other related articles.
Happy crew members are those that bring the best results and stay on the ship. It is great to have an experienced crew on your boat, a crew you can trust and completely rely on.
Unhappy crew members leave the ship first.
What if the connection to the work is not that strong and the employer or boss asks them to work long hours, maybe even during the weekends or if the employee simply falls out due to much work? What if a change in the company make employees less happy? People leave. Key Functions might cause Special challenges. So, if you think, you have to make your company a success first, you do not care about such topics now, maybe in a year, than learn to live with the consequences. This might be like an infection for the company, directly influencing the overall health.
Just imagine: What does the captain of a pirate ship do without the crew or when important crew members leave? If other crew members can take over, it works out well, for some time, but this will probably not be a long-term solution. So think wisely what type of company culture you want to set up.
Discussions about and situations I experienced this, formed me. Yes, I can and do work hard for a company, but not 24/7. In emergencies, I also work some days for 18-22 hours a day, but this is not healthy, neither my target. If it was my company, I would probably work even harder than working for someone else’s company, but I would not expect others to work nonstop. I know about my responsibility to care about colleagues. Beside time is health the other thing that is really priceless in life. Once it is gone, you will not get it back easily. Stress and hard work for endless hours are directly influencing the health of employees. The result infects in return the health of the company.
I am a supporter of the importance of a good work-life balance. Diversity in your life makes you and your brain happy. I want to see my colleagues happy and also them enjoying their life and bringing the positive energy resulting from this into the company. The results and the felt atmosphere are different. The fluctuation is less and the business partners as well as customers will feel that. When I am looking back to my life, I will not be alone. Experiences will design my life. Being open-minded with the right balance is awesome. I will try many different things, travel many countries. There are always reasons for happiness when you live with the right balance.
I recommend you to also get inspired by “Why passing waves in the sea is like living life“, “How to Stop Wasting your Priceless Time and take Control!“ or The Secret of why staying Positive can bring you success“.
A happy Crew, working on the ship with a good balance bring much better results, also to each stakeholder than a crew only working, feeling stressed and under pressure, causing the price also in the product. On the other hand, if the working conditions are bad and people are overworked, this might cause a big bang for the ship / the company