This morning while walking the dog we walked past a woman who was on her way to work at the hospital around the corner from us. The moment she walked by we got a major whiff of whatever cheap perfume she happened to be wearing. In fact, we could still smell it even after she had crossed the street. You know the type, though you usually get stuck in an elevator with them. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that if you’re going to work in a hospital, around sick people, you probably shouldn’t reek of Eau de Obnoxious. It might serve to hide some nasty hospital odors, but it will also make people more sick.
About five years ago I worked in the local M&M/Mars chocolate factory. Because we were working around food, they had very strict rules about how we came to work. In addition to wearing white coveralls over our clothing, we couldn’t wear the shoes we had worn outside. We couldn’t have strong perfume or cologne on. And because we were working around all sorts of equipment, we couldn’t wear any jewelry, not even a wedding band. Also, this was a non-peanut plant. None of the products made there had any nuts in them at all, and we weren’t even allowed to bring a PB&J sandwich with us to eat in the cafeteria. They were THAT concerned about someone with a peanut allergy getting some nut product in a non-peanut candy bar.
The truth is, even the slightest of things can wreak havoc. A little odor, a foreign substance…that’s all it takes to change everything.
The same goes for having a bad attitude. It affects those around you: at home, at work, in public. When you go to work, do you have a bad attitude about your job? Your customers? That sort of attitude is not very conducive to a positive work environment, and it certainly will help you get ahead and progress in your career.
And very often, the bad “odor” or attitude is not so much about bringing something in from the outside, but it’s inherent in the culture of your organization. I’ve had few jobs where a poor work ethic was due to a lack of morale, based on the culture of the organization, top down.
Step away from the perfume, hide the peanuts, and create a positive culture that creates motivated and happy employees, which in turn translates to a healthy culture within your customers.
Oh, and I can’t resist quoting Andre the Giant from one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride:
Anybody want a peanut?
Is your business filled with offensive smells, foreign substances, and bad attitudes? And if so, are your employees bringing them in from the outside? Or are you cultivating that sort of culture by the way you operate?
- Nine Ways to Make Yourself Charming (spinsucks.com)
- The Sunshine Award (kaarinadillabough.com)
- The Culture of Social Media without the Platforms; Mind = Blown (marijeanjaggers.com)
- 5 ways corporate culture determines social media success (businessesgrow.com)
- Branding Against the Machine: An UnReview of Epic Proportions (joeystrawn.com)