Yesterday was the day when pranksters push the boundaries of acceptable office “humor” – from wrapping an entire cube in tin foil (actual photo from our office, right) to less funny and potentially more harmful pranks that can negatively impact others (Ex-Lax brownies come to mind).
But those aren’t the worst pranks.
No, the truly terrible are those that most employees endure every day in workplaces around the world.
Pervasive “pranks” employees endure all year round
- “Our employees come first.”
- “Our core values are important to us.”
- “We cultivate a culture in which people can thrive.”
Why do I call these pranks? Because all too often, people are lured into new positions in an organization with these promises, only to find out employees only come first as long as the company is meeting or exceeding the crazy demands of customers or shareholders. Or that the core value of “integrity” is truly only valued if “integrity” doesn’t get in the way of “profit above all else.”
The last example is perhaps the most pervasive.
A positive, empowering, appreciative culture is a powerful lure for employees who want to spend the majority of their waking day in an atmosphere where they can work hard and well, but also be recognized and appreciated for it. Too bad that promise of a culture of recognition can be forgotten when pressure mounts.
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Companies need to live their core values
It’s time we bury these awful pranks for good. It’s time we use the Power of Thanks to create and sustain just that kind of culture through which employees really do come first and the core values become more than a plaque on a wall.
When we recognize and appreciate people for living the core values, we cultivate a positive culture in which employees do thrive.
What are the worst “pranks” you see being perpetrated against employees in your office?