You may not have know this, but I grew up in small town Ohio. My extended family started out primarily as farmers. A few of my cousins still farm, but the majority of us have ventured into different occupations. We gather every other year for either “Big Thanksgiving” or “Big Christmas.” We do our best to bring together our remaining parents, aunts, uncles and cousins with their children. We’ve been doing this long enough that we’re starting to see great grandchildren !!
It’s a great time because we meet around an incredible potluck meal (always too much food) and activities. One unique thing to note in this day and age is no television, tablets or phones. We put technology away because we enjoy being with each other !! (Odd, I know.) There are many things to do that you can choose from such as a craft project or two, board games and especially card games !!
My son LIVES to play Spoons with his cousins. It is a full contact sport in my family and he recruits as many of the crowd as he can to participate. I’ve played once or twice, but you better be dedicated because it’s raucous and energetic. For those of us who want something more sedate there’s the game of Euchre. We play 4-handed, 5-handed and even 6-handed games !!
If you don’t want to play games or make a Christmas ornament (this year’s craft), you are sure to find a thoughtful conversation about life, work, family, faith or politics. The key to all of these activities is that NO ONE is left out. Not one person. It would be unheard of for someone to be isolated. I honestly don’t know what my family would do if someone wanted to be alone.
When I get together with this incredible group of people, I am re-energized and fulfilled. You never leave with empty batteries. What if this was a model for our workplaces?
I find that people leave work each day more exhausted than rejuvenated. They either drag themselves out to their cars, or they can’t wait to leave and get to their lives. It can be disheartening. However, it doesn’t have to be what we experience.
If HR would be geeked about what they do and who they work with, we’d have a start in the right direction. My son doesn’t care about the card game. He wants to be with his cousins and share an experience that is sure to be uplifting and memorable. I want to be like him and get people to have their work also be significant and meaningful. Even the most “simple” interaction could be fun !!
Also, making sure everyone is connected where they can contribute is key to a viable organization. Allowing someone to be isolated while at work only hurts you. Step in and find out why they are disconnected. See if you can get them plugged in. Have many avenues for this to occur. Try not to be set in your ways and be willing to explore new ways for people to latch on.
This week step back and see what you can do personally to make sure work is fun. You never know, that game of Spoons may be right in front of you !! Just take the time to invite people to play !!