Create a place where people WANT to work

As the leader of a team of staff I feel a great responsibility to create an environment where people WANT to work, a place where people are hoping to get hired and those that are here are so excited to be a part.

So, what do you think?

What does it take to create a place where people WANT to work?

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  • jan owen October 29, 2008  

    I want to feel cared about personally – know me, in other words, and care about who I am, not just what I do. Celebrate who I am.

    Help me grow in my areas of true giftedness and encourage me to step out and have the courage to not remain the same. Lovingly help me stretch and grow to reach my potential.

    Respect me. I want to know that what I do is important and that my thoughts and my life count. Listen to my opinions and even ask for them. Don’t make me always come to you – this is hard for me.

    Help me see how my life’s work IS making a difference. This is hard to see during difficult seasons of ministry and some days I wonder why I should continue on and who in the world it benefits or maybe even cares. Of course first of all, you will have to truly believe that what I do IS making a difference and is important to the Kingdom of God.

    Care about my health – emotional, spiritual, and physical. Give me benefits that enable me to care for myself. Don’t make working 70 hours a week the norm so that I actually have time to exercise and be with my family and clean my house and maybe even have a hobby like a real person! Don’t enable – or worse, expect and encourage – the workaholic tendencies that will lead me to burnout, depression, heart attack and perhaps a shortened period of time to work for God’s glory. Care about my spiritual health and allow me space to take time to be with God beyond 15 minutes in the morning. Give me study breaks so I can approach ministry thoughtfully and prayerfully. Enact a policy that allows one day a month away for solitude to retreat with God. Care enough to go to bat for us to have a mandatory sabbatical policy so that I can minister out of the overflow of health and my relationship with God and not out of exhaustion and fatigue. Nothing good happens there. I desire to be a SPIRITUAL leader so allow me the time and tools that make this possible.

    Pray for me and let me know it.

    Remember I am human. Correct me gently, but expect that I will make mistakes. We all do. Love me enough to walk with me through these things.

    Finally, believe the best about me. If you have questions, ask, don’t assume the worst.

    I don’t ask for much, do I?

  • Christina Schmidt October 29, 2008  

    Jan stole ALL of mine! According to Dale Carnegie, the major difference between humans and animals are that we have the NEED to feel important. Definitely appreciation, like you’re a vital part of the organization. I was nothing but a body answering calls at my last job, and we were replaceable at the drop of a hat. VERY few people there liked coming to work (I was of the majority), and a lot of them just didn’t care about their performance.
    We were just talking @ small group last week how much fun it would be to work with you guys! (I still need a job, if you’re hiring:) )

  • Aaron October 29, 2008  

    i want to work at a place with a clear vision

    a bold, compelling vision that people can get excited about

  • alex October 29, 2008  

    Jan, that was an insane comment… I think I’m going to print that out and post it in my office to remind me how to treat our staff. (bow’s saying “I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy”).

  • Travis Thompson October 29, 2008  

    Jenni – I love your post so very much for Jan’s comment – WOW!

  • Anita October 29, 2008  

    Jan that was cool. Maybe I can use your help as I try to figure this thing out with my kids on a daily basis. I think having people feel a sense of desire, responsibility, and purpose for what they are doing helps. Like the old story about asking three men who are building a house what they are doing and each one answers differently according to what the work means to him.

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  • alyssa October 29, 2008  

    this might seem lame, but i LOVED michael hyatt’s innovation of a new dress code policy (

    jeans and docs every day… that’s workplace bliss… oooh, and starbucks within walking distance. 🙂

  • Vince October 29, 2008  

    the difficult thing is that it is different for every person on your team, as far as day to day. Getting your finger on the pulse of your team and finding each person’s ‘window of motivation’ and helping them find that sweet spot on a regular basis can go a long way.

    now I am inspired to write a leadership blog post

  • Cindy Beall October 29, 2008  

    A great work environment for me would be comfortable, but not lazy. Authentic, but respectful. That’s what I need.

  • waswrittenin October 29, 2008  

    Hmm… great question. One I am currently wrestling with in my head. I’ll get back to you on this. Hope you’re having a great week!

  • I LOVE MY JOB and I really LOVE MY BOSSES…. they make working for AlphaBuzz, Inc. a FABULOUS place…. and you will NOT find a more giving person than our owner…. Gayle Fluster!!! She really has a kind kind heart…. once you get past that exterior… hahahha…. same goes w/Susan and Tina…they are all FABULOUS to work for. I am blessed.

  • brewster October 29, 2008  

    such a great post and such a great question. one thing i believe you have to do is make sure you are hiring people who share the same dna. people who get what you do and can get passionate about what you are doing.

    i put a premium on creativity, problem solving, and passion.

    Jan’s comment was DEAD ON. I think it is also so important to know your boundaries. Some people THRIVE in a family atmosphere. I do. Not all my jobs have been that atmosphere. The places were you can create opportunities for your staff to feel ownership in what they do, create massive winning potential. create an atmosphere where people are set up to win.

  • Marla Saunders October 29, 2008  

    I wanna work where Jan works. Or Jan’s boss. Or whoever built that work ethic into Jan. Way to go, Jan…you hit it out of the park!

  • jan owen October 30, 2008  

    @Marla – honey, I hate to break it to you but it was absolute tragedy and a near total burnout that built that into me…….I learned the hard way. Brokenness is a powerful teacher. But thank you to everyone for their kind comments. I presently have no true boss – we are in an interim time – but our entire church has learned some of this as well. And our interim is wonderful to encourage us to be healthy.

    I don’t necessarily have all of these where I work – I just want them. 🙂

  • Jonathan October 30, 2008  

    I love a work environment where people are synchronized, positive, and real. A place where people depend on you and utilize you, not simply use you.

    I love to celebrate together when we are successful.

    These fuel my confidence and tenacity for more work.

  • Andy Depuy October 30, 2008  

    I wish I worked @ a place where if you are good @ what you do and make suggestings, That your boss listens to you and doesn’t say no when you begin to speak,or if you ask for a change and your boss says he will and six months later your still @ ths same place and not able to move up the ladder or no one really thinks you know what your doing. I wish i had a different job,if anyone is looking for a person that has been in the same buiness for alot of years let me know

  • bradruggles October 30, 2008  

    I think there is so much to be said for having a workplace that people want to work at. For creative individuals like myself it means having environments that are conducive to creative thoughts and ideas.

    It’s also important to foster an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie, a place where a team can bond and gel together, not just through work, but through fun times as well.

    Here’s a list of some of my favorite office workspaces.

  • Jenni Catron October 30, 2008  

    Ok, wow! I have my work cut out for me as a leader! Really love your feedback on this everybody!

  • tam October 30, 2008  

    oreos. keep the break room stocked with oreos.

    you’re welcome.

  • mandythompson October 31, 2008  

    For me, if I have a job to do, PLEASE help me get the resources to do the job. This includes adequate communication of expectations, permission to go after resources that might not be at hand, and freedom to explore creative measures to accomplish the task.

    One thing that makes me CRAZY is a job where I don’t have what I need to get the job done. I will begin to realize/believe that I’m set up for failure, and there will be no motivation to complete the job.