Clean Your Plate

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Every parent has uttered to their kids, at one time or another, “Eat your food.  There are some children who don’t have anything to eat.” or “You should be grateful for all you have, some people don’t have a place to live or toys to play with”.  We try to instill in our children an appreciation for all they have.

After a particularly difficult day at work I was walking through the hallway headed to my car.  While waiting for the elevator I overheard a conversation between two employees.  One woman was expressing her frustration with a current project but then said “I’m just so grateful I have a job.  I’m so lucky to be employed”.  On my drive home I wondered if we’ve lowered our employee satisfaction standards.  Should we strive for more?  Are there better opportunities with more innovative companies?  How should we set, and measure, standards for workplace happiness?

With unemployment reaching its highest point in decades and the economy tanking, many who have managed to keep their jobs have lost perspective.  Just like children they take what they have for granted and no longer value employment the way they should.  So many employees focus on what they don’t have.  They want salary increases, improved benefits, a more flexible work environment, and opportunities to grow within an organization.  The problem?  The value we find in our career is depreciating.  We are suffering from appreciation depreciation.

This may be a syndrome more prevalent amongst Generations X and Y.  There’s a sense of entitlement that comes with many employees in their 20s and 30s.  However, more tenured employees, and those who have worked without experiencing a layoff, are more at risk of appreciation depreciation.  Those who have been impacted by these difficult economic times will experience a rise in their appreciation value.

While we should never settle, we should also never lose perspective.  We must recognize the value in our work.  We need to clean our plate and hungrily ask for seconds.

Do you clean your plate at work?

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Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox is the Director of Marketing for Second City Works - the B2B division of the famed Second City.

You know the buzzwords; inbound, outbound, content, demand gen, lead gen, martech, social media, account-based, advocacy, customer success, sales enablement, and analytics.She studies it, plans it, executes it, experiments with it, and loves it.

Through discovery, creation, and innovation she's learned to say "Yes, And".Like business, her career is one big improvisational act.

She leads all aspects of the brand and culture, developing and executing a clearly defined, integrated marketing communications strategy.Marilyn is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, training, and managing all marketing functions to achieve objectives of growth, awareness, customer success and making work better.

Marilyn exists to empower sales and support the customer. When not geeking out over marketing analytics, she can be found daydreaming about her unrealized dream as a professional wrestler with the WWE.
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