Abigail Forsyth and her brother Jamie Forsyth opened their Bluebag Café in 1998 in Melbourne and realised how much waste was being produced through the use of the disposable coffee cups that theirs and most other cafés were providing their customers with.
As Abigail explains on their website “Each morning and evening I would give my daughter a warm milk in a sippy cup – at work I would have a takeaway coffee each morning and afternoon. The thought of giving my daughter her milk in a disposable cup seemed barbaric – so why was it ok for me? It was then I realised that it was not will people wash their cup – we have to, we have no choice. The time had come.!”
And so began KeepCup – a wonderful success story.
I saw an interview with Abigail Forsyth and her passion, belief, commitment, sense of meaning and pride that was obvious as Abigail shared her story was infectious and inspiring.
While other business owners may share in the same type of passion, belief, commitment, personal pride, dreams, and sense of meaning, it’s certainly not the current reality for many workers. For many people, the work they do is not so inspiring to them.
In Todd Kashdan’s book Curious, he refers to statistics that suggest 25%-33% of people experience their work as a passionate calling. Another 25%-33% describe their work as a job, and another 25%-33% describe their work as a career.
In a Gallup survey covering more than 131 countries, their findings suggest that potentially 7 out of 10 workers don’t feel a strong connection to what they do. A separate Gallup Survey here in Australia suggests that disengaged employees cost the Australian economy approximately $31.5 billion a year because of productivity levels, employee absence (including sick leave) and presenteeism.
Is it any wonder that over the past decade there has been a rise in consultants working with organisations on employee engagement strategies! However, it’s equally important to ensure engaged employees are willing and with pride, continuously taking the intentional action required to create a prosperous workplace – one that is flourishing and growing.
Inspiring Workplace Prosperity
I’m convinced that the next step from employee engagement is to create workplace prosperity. (You can learn more about my Inspiring Workplace Prosperity program here).
Not everyone is in an inspiring job – however, there is a range of practical strategies that any employee (including leaders) can complete while at work (and it doesn’t involve meditation, singing kum-bai-yah or abseiling down mountains as team building exercises) that will help maintain their ‘engagement’, and more importantly, focus that sense of well-being into productive work practices resulting in enhanced workplace prosperity.
Here are just a few that you might like to personally try… (note, in isolation of some skilled framing and positioning, these may seem simplistic and quite strange, but as part of a structured program I can assure you each has the potential to create significant and positive changes on individual, team and organisational levels).
- Get clear in your own mind about what an inspiring prosperous workplace would look like for you
- Work out what you’re currently doing and could do that would sustain and/or create a more inspiring workplace for you
- Define your intentions for the people (individuals and teams) you impact directly or indirectly in your work role
- Take control of your inner voice (mindful awareness of your thoughts, feelings, intentions, actions and results)
- Review and develop intentional success habits – and hold yourself accountable for them
- Set and pursue intentional aspirational goals that will help you create a more inspiring prosperous workplace for you while also helping you achieve the outcomes expected of your role
- Build intentional trust relationships – you don’t get trust, you earn it
- Develop a thirst for intentional learning so that you’re not just able to ‘do’ the job, that you become an ‘expert’ in what you do
- Reflect and review on your daily/weekly intentional decisions and intentional actions and how they are contributing toward you creating a more inspirational and prosperous workplace.
Whether you’re a business owner, a leader or employee, the reality is you get to choose whether you will work toward creating an intentionally inspirational and prosperous workplace, or whether you fall victim to just accepting that your job is just a job and that treating it that way has no long term impact on your overall sense of well-being once you leave work. Because whether you want to believe it or not, how you choose to invest your time, energy, focus, thoughts, feelings and actions at work, has a direct influence on you living a more happy, flourishing and prosperous life.