Friday, February 12, 2016

Tote that engagement, lift that morale

Fortunately, whenever I get a bit wistful about no longer being a full time employee anywhere, I come across an article that reminds me just  how fortuante I fortunately am. The Bloomberg article I saw - grabbingly headlined "Companies Are Outsourcing Employee Morale Building" (I've always loved seeing the words "outsourcing" and "morale" juxtaposed) - had an intro paragraph that made me shudder:
On a recent Thursday evening, Erin McCulloch, 31, was in her New York City office's conference room balancing on her manager's shins. Nearby, another colleague lay on her back and lifted the chief executive officer into the air with her feet, airplane-style. (Source: Bloomberg)
I've made it this far in professional life in one piece by following a few pretty simple rules. One of those rules is never balance on my manager shins. And another one is never lift my CEO (or, for that matter, anyone over the age of 3 and/or weighing over over 32 pounds).

But I've never been a hip young thing working in a cool place in NYC. Nor have I ever been even vaguely interested in anything that promises to be a "fusion of acrobatics and yoga," even if it promises to "leverage the wisdom of AcroYoga and apply it to corporate America."

Both may indeed require coopration and communication, but that's really where I see the (strained) applicability ends.

Then again, I've never been a hip young thing, etc.

Anyway, hip young companies in the NYC area can outsource their morale building to an outfit called Wekudo (as in "we could do", not as in weh-coo-dough" which is how I mnentally pronounced it when I first say it).

Wekudo has a "BIG dream: to inspire happiness at work."

This happiness at work must be a Millennial notion.

I'd say that the Greatest Generation wanted a steady income (plus pension) at work. Us Boomers wanted a steady income, too, but since we weren't going to get a pension, we wanted to have work that was "interesting", if not inspiring. As far as I can tell, poor Gen X wants an income, but since they weren't going to get a steady one, let alone a pension, what they want is for the Boomers to leave and not let the door hit them on our way out. They want this in a desperate hope that they can have a few minutes to run the place before the Millennials come streaming in through the doors that the Boomers had just exited. And the Millennials apparently don't care about income, steady or not. They care about perks, and engagement, and happiness at work.

I generally found a fair amount of happiness at work. But it was deifinitely small-h happiness. For real, capital-H Happiness, I looked to friends (a number of whom I found at work), family (hey, come to think of it, I met my husband at work), the nearest bookstore, and the Boston Red Sox. (Happiness from the Sox was an up-and-down-er.)

Given what the Millennials are after, I think that Wekudo is on to something. So go check them out. Any place that features pets on their site is likely a place that does, indeed, inspire happiness. (Even though some of those pets are cats.)

And Wekudo is not all about the acro yoga. They do plenty of things that even I - loather of most corporate bonding functions, just on general principles - might have enjoyed.  Like trivia night and karaoke (which I actually did at a couple of corporate functions). Others, well, sometimes I'm just as glad that at Me, Inc. I get to build morale and inspire happiness doing whatever I damn well please, even if it's just a snow-day afternoon nap. No manager's balancing on my knees, thank you!

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