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The making of a better workday

Most people spend more of their waking hours at work, with their co-workers, than they do with their own families at home. Whether you are in your first job or if you have many years of service, there are ways to make your workday more enjoyable, successful and productive.

Developing a formula for making your day a good one is a worthwhile exercise. You can at the same time provide a better environment for employees with whom you work, those who you manage and all others with whom you interact. You can be a mentor and be a positive influence in making their days more fulfilling.  Being a mentor is a role you can play, regardless of your age, position your hold or tenure in your job. If your employer offers a formal mentor program consider volunteering for participation. If there is not one at your workplace you can still become an effective mentor.

No one gets to where they are alone. No man is an island. Most of us have had many people in our past who set positive examples for us and who we relied on for leadership. Everyone needs someone to whom they can go for advice, to use as a sounding board, to get new ideas from and to emulate their positive traits.

Some of the things you can do to make a better workday regardless of your position are in the list below.

• Always be open to new ideas. Be flexible.

• Become an advocate of change instead of a victim.

• Ask for help from others.

• Get a mentor.

• Become a mentor.

• Accept constructive criticism and use for improvement.

• Take advantage of all training opportunities.

• Seek out others to learn something new.

• Praise openly. Offer improvement in performance in private.

• Initiate and promote teamwork in all areas in which you interact.

• Avoid negative people.

• Encourage others on a regular basis even if you don’t receive encouragement.

• Be creative.

• Don’t run over people. It is not necessary for success.

• Acknowledge that there may be better ways to do things other than your way or how it is currently done.

• Be quick to give credit to others.

• Fill the day with enthusiasm. It is contagious.

• Develop an understanding and appreciation of others who are different from you.

• Develop patience and be more understanding.

• Be tactful when dealing with others.

• Become a better communicator, upwards, downwards and horizontally.

• Set realistic goals for each day and measure your attainment of those goals.

• Treat people right, regardless of their position at work or in life.

• Have a vision for the future.

• Speak well of the company for whom you work.

• Think a good day. Plan a good day. Plan your work and work your plan.

• Be ethical in all your dealings.

• Always do your best.

Be grateful for the opportunity and your ability to do productive work. Many people do not have a job and would willingly swap places with you. Work is a privilege that can bring much happiness and joy in your life. It provides an opportunity to contribute, give back and be a productive citizen in our society while at the same time experiencing personal fulfillment. There are may Biblical references to work and one of my favorites is found in Colossians 3:23. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”


Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.