Leap Forward at Work: What a Difference a Day Makes

Imagine you could have an extra 24 hours. Now you do!

Leap Year is an actuarial phenomenon that occurs every four years. Other four-year spans come to mind: graduating from college; U.S. presidential elections; the Olympics.

Leap Year is different: We don’t train for the bonus day, even though we all surely appreciate it.

With our shared Leap Day in mind, here are 4 prompts on how you might spend it wisely—and bounce into March recharged.

So let’s pick a thing lots of people are fixed on: #Careerlove. I.e., How to find the work you love. Managers translate this to employee engagement. And Chief Financial Officers translate this to a $600 Billion annual global problem.

The good news is we are solving for this all day, every day at WeSpire.

  • Leap: Take that word LEAP seriously and identify a BHAG challenge to leap ahead in a direction you know you want. Here’s the WeSpire twist: why not formulate a goal that aligns with your company: the business it’s in; the people it serves; its culture, goals, and aspirations. Think that’s too narrow? Think again: most businesses today want you to be happy, healthy, fit, prepared, resilient, on-task. All of it. Because the boss knows a highly engaged workforce is going to succeed.
  • Purpose: Name yours. Then find people who share it. If you can find an employer who speaks the language, that’s ideal. Plug into their annual reports and letters from the Chairman. You will find that global business leaders are searching for lasting new ways to engage employees on purpose. The benefits are clear, and they are the essence of sustainability: “People with purpose get out of bed more inspired and return more fulfilled. Their careers are more rewarding, their businesses more impactful.” (From LinkedIn’s elegant new campaign launched during the Oscars and trumpeted in the media this week.)
  • Team: Another reason people enjoy their jobs: a positive team experience. Increasingly managers understand that successful teams are performance gold: “Within companies and conglomerates, as well as in government agencies and schools, teams are now the fundamental unit of organization. If a company wants to outstrip its competitors, it needs to influence not only how people work but also how they work together.”    But how to create a good team? For guidance, we are drawn to investigating the heads of successful teams, Superbowl coaches for instance.  For more, check out Google’s Project Aristotle, a centerpiece of the New York Times’s current “Work Issue.” Project Aristotle is an exhaustive inquiry on what makes a successful team, and the quick answer is social norms. “Norms are the traditions, behavioral standards and unwritten rules that govern how we function when we gather.”     P.S. WeSpire’s architecture is designed to leverage the power of social norms to create lasting behavior change, and we have case studies to prove it.
  • Tools: Get the ones you need. Slack is our office darling. In case you are visiting from the 20th century, Slack is the 2-year old social network that, simply put, makes people love their work experience, and it’s all about teams (please see above). Yes, WeSpire’s platform integrates beautifully with Slack and other popular workplace networks.

Bottom Line: The year 2016 just delivered a great gift: 24 extra hours to do anything you want! Why not use at least a few of those hours to think about YOUR big picture. You don’t have to be miserable at your job. In the words of our own senior rails engineer John Carmichael, “It can be fulfilling, it can be a joy.”

Ready to Leap? How are you using today’s 24 extra hours? Tell us about it in the comments.