Got the Sunday night blahs? Maybe it’s your workplace culture?

An article in the newspaper this week reported on how the incidence of insomnia in restless sleepers peaks on Sunday evenings.  Of course, we all know what’s waiting for most people on Monday morning.  For most of our lives it was the weighty dread we felt in our stomach at the thought of going back to school for the week.

Today, some of those same anxious kids are now anxious adults in bigger clothing. And I wonder how much of the anxiety is of the same sources we experienced as children?

Given all the talk about workplace bullying, then clearly some people might dread the start of the work week because it means surviving another week with the office jerk.

Then there’s the sleepless anxiety at the thought of having to deliver your class paper. Oops, I meant business report.

The anxiety over what you’re going to wear to the class prom.  Oops, I meant business party.

The anxiety over trying to impress the cool kids. Oops, I meant impress the visiting senior executives.

It’s a bit sad sometimes to think about how some of the less enjoyable parts of school haven’t necessarily left us behind in the workplace.

Perhaps it’s a reminder that if you are going to create truly inspiring workplaces, then it starts by treating people as adults.  The most successful, inspiring, innovative and fun workplace cultures all tend to have this core principle in place: treat people like adults and they’ll behave like adults.

Respect employees as adults and they’ll tend to act respectful.

Value employees as adults and they will feel like valued adults.

And maybe then, just maybe, everyone will sleep much more restfully on those dreaded Sunday nights.

Michael Kerr, December 2011,  www.humoratwork.com

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