What makes someone love their job? It probably starts with a mix of caring coworkers, supportive supervisors, inspiring leaders, a motivational mission, meaningful work, and a healthy dose of fun. This type of workplace simply feels loving.
What makes someone hate their job? Teammates more bent on playing politics than producing great work; bosses who use intimidation to command output, squelching individual initiative; an atmosphere devoid of trust and filled with confusion; and of course, the threat of being downsized. What do these all have in common? Fear.
Ever felt anxiety when thinking about your job? Dreaded walking into the office each day? Encountered a company with unhappy employees or an unhealthy culture? Fear is probably to blame. Fear infects a company’s culture, limiting effectiveness and breeding mistrust. It has the power to erode the foundation of great brands.
At TiER1, we work to help leaders and employees let go of their fears and move in the right direction. It isn’t work for the faint of heart; although, it is powerfully rewarding for those who know it is a key part of the path to better performance. As we help companies evolve their thinking and practices, we look at what creates and sustains superior performance and what degrades it. When you boil it down, it can be stated simply as the amount of love shared and exchanged vs. the amount of fear shared and exchanged. In the case of healthy company cultures, fear truly is the opposite of love.
Here at TiER1 we love our jobs and are proud to be co-owners of this company (we recently became an ESOP). TiER1 was founded on the love of learning, the love of friendship, and the possibility of building a company where both could coexist. Fifteen years later, we’ve grown at least 25% a year with no signs of slowing down. Most importantly, we still care for each other and share a deep commitment to build a better world.
This kind of love can’t be taken for granted, so we take efforts to measure how it’s being fostered and feeding performance. We gauge every TiER1er’s feelings about the company, workload balance, utilization, and relationships in monthly surveys; our CEO posts weekly podcasts that focus on what we can do to make our culture of care and accountability even stronger; and monthly company meetings keep us connected across geographic locations and aligned with our core values. These are just some of the tools we use to keep fear from creeping in on love.
Simply put, love and fear are mutually exclusive. You have to choose one or the other. When we act from a place of love, good things happen. When we act from a place of fear, we constrict our potential. It may not be easy to always get it right, but when you work to drive out fear and let in love, we guarantee you’ll see your organization’s performance improve.