Does Sunday evening get you down? When B.B. King, the King of the Blues, wrote these lyrics, “When my heart starts beating like a hammer, and my eyes get full of tears,” he wasn’t writing about his job but many hard working Americans feel this way on Sunday evening each week. According to research, getting ready for Monday can be a real bummer.
Have you ever had that feeling of dread come over you on Sunday evening as your mind begins to prepare for the work week ahead? Does your heart start beating like a hammer? Do your eyes fill with tears? Is the thought of Monday – the start of a new work week – so daunting that you begin worrying about work on Sunday?
This type of worry and dread cuts into your weekend. It feels like Monday starts on Sunday. This phenomenon has been termed the “Sunday Evening Blues.”
It is a real phenomenon. For some people there is much to worry about. In fact, more heart attacks occur on Monday mornings in the workplace than any other day of the week. When the sun rises on Monday mornings so does the blood pressure of many hard working Americans. What is the cause of the Sunday Evening Blues? The cause could be related to your morning commute, sleep deprivation from the weekend, abuse of alcohol, poor family relationships, or the act of returning to a toxic work environment.
When surveying employees regarding their satisfaction with work, I think it is a good idea to ask this question: “Do you experience the Sunday Evening Blues when thinking about returning to work on Monday?” The results will be a good indicator of the health of your workplace.
As business leaders we should do what we can to make the workplace a welcoming and inviting place. The environment should help employees perform at their highest levels. Below are a few ideas on how to create a warm and inviting workplace and beat down the Sunday Evening Blues:
- Drive Out Fear in the Workplace – Fear stifles creativity, productivity and quality. Fear seizes up the organization’s ability to freely produce results because employees are afraid of being reprimanded. Drive out fear by ridding your organization of supervisors who are overbearing, micromanaging, nitpicking, fire-breathing Neanderthals.
- Model Servant Leadership – The most productive teams are motivated by servant leaders. When leaders realize their job is to help others succeed, work/life begins to make more sense. When everything and everyone has to accommodate the leader, he/she is not a servant leader but a dictator.
- Throw Out Rigidity and Embrace Flexibility – Our personal and professional lives have never been more complicated. Many times the competing demands of our family and work intersect and create enormous pressure. When the company forces employees to choose between work and family, the company will always lose in the end. Even if the employee chooses company over family, the company will eventually lose when the employee’s family falls apart. It is best to work things out through flexible leadership. In other words, focus on results not face time.
- Provide Lessons on Etiquette and Civility – Our country severely lacks some basic lessons on etiquette and civility. If a driver does not speed off at a green light within one second, hoards of cars will start honking their horns, shouting obscenities and shoving crude finger gestures at you. These ruthless, impatient, vulgar people are driving to work too and you likely work with many of them. It is a good idea to provide mandatory etiquette and civility training to help smooth out the major and minor irritants that cause friction in the workplace. If there is friction in the workplace it is manifesting itself at the customer level as well.
- Leaders Should Be Nice – It is amazing what will happen in an organization if the top leader and his/her executive team are simply nice people. You do not have to be mean and nasty to get work done. That is myth not reality. Leaders who are nice, cordial, pleasant, focused, determined, objective and fair will lead their company to greatness. When nice starts at the top it will cascade down the organization.