Adults spend most of their waking hours at their jobs. For some, this can be forty to sixty hours a week. The place one spends most of their adult life should not be a place where he or she feels under appreciated and undervalued. They should not dread going to their job every day. Work should be a joyous, a fun experience in a positive working environment. This is the premise of author Dennis W. Bakke’s, national bestseller Joy at Work.
Dennis W. Bakke has a passion to “make work exciting, rewarding, stimulating, and enjoyable.” (13) Joy at Work is a unique positive work environment book that allows readers to redefine the purpose of a company. Bakke believes that business profit should not be the main purpose for running a company. When top executives look at their employees, many view them as collateral and value them for the amount of money they make their company. According to Bakke, this unfortunate attitude can cause employees to feel undervalued and unfulfilled in their work and lead to an unsatisfying work atmosphere.
Bakke believed that company values should be more than the means for making a good profit. At best, profit should be a secondary goal. When profit becomes the sole focus of an organization, there is a temptation to make employees into stepping stones. It is tempting for a company owner or manager to see how much work they can squeeze out of their employees for the smallest amount of cost. However, if the focus of a company’s organizational behavior is on employee fulfillment, meaning, and accomplishment. The wellbeing of the employee outlook and productivity may increase, which creates a positive work environment. Bakke conveys a very optimistic, employer – employee attitude.
He believes that an organization is more than the sum of its profits. The quality of life of a company’s employees should be a primary focus. Joy at Work examines the fulfillment and fun that can be found in a work place (13).
Bakke claims that his book, Joy at Work is one of the few business books not written for top executives. This book if for people who are bored and frustrated at their job, for business students, professionals, managers of all levels, and for anyone who is interested in how to create a positive work environment.
However, for subordinate employees in a company, there is not much he or she can do to directly integrate Bakke’s ideas into their workplace other then to introduce these organizational changes and concepts to management. Changes to the work environment are up to a company’s leadership, executives and the upper level management to change the culture of a given company. He is right in saying that this book is beneficial for business students in understanding organizational behavior issues and options. They can learn how to create a fun work environment as they try to start their own businesses in the future. Bakke also mentions that Joy at Work is a good resource for religious and nonprofit organizations to use when involved in business endeavors.
Where did Bakke get his ideas for fun on the job? Bakke recalls his home life as a teenager. All the children in the house had chores to do. His mother created such an environment where each child felt valued and appreciated. Each child understood that their job was important, and they were energized and enjoyed themselves in their work. They did not work in the fear of punishment, nor did they expect a reward (19-21). Through out his life he remember many work experiences where he felt valued and was able to effectively use his talents.
Therefore, if you are already employed, then this book is a good tool to evaluate your job, your employer, and either the positive, negative, or hostile work environment your company; and see if you are really happy with wear you are. Are you using your skills? Do you feel challenged every day? If you are looking for work, this is a great example of what to look for in a job. If you are an employer, then this book is really written for you and your management staff. Will it become another One-Minuet Manager or Who Moved my Cheese bestseller, who knows. But if your employees are happy and feel valued in a encouraging work environment then they will willingly give you their best everyday, and your company will reap the benefits.
Think about it.
1. Bakke, Dennis W. Joy at Work: A Revolutionary Approach to Fun on the Job. PVG: Seattle, WA. 2005