• Steve Junion, Ph.D.

Work Hard, Be Nice | Bumper-to-Bumper, and COVID-19

Standing in line at a gas station (pre-COVID-19), I saw a gentleman from Bumper-to-Bumper with the words, "Work Hard, Be Nice" on the back of his polo. I was intrigued, but the line was moving fast, and I didn't have a chance to speak with him.

After I paid, I rushed out to ask him a couple of questions. Under the canopy of a gas station, shielding us from the rain, I introduced myself and asked him if what was on the back of his shirt was true? He said yes, it was a great culture; leadership not only said the words, but they also lived them, and then he gave a couple of examples.

Own the Problem: Employees are given the ability to own and fix the problem without having to ask their leadership. They are empowered to make the decision, they have the resources, and take action to help their customers. These words enable employees to go outside of standard policy. For example, delivering parts to an older adult's home so they can fix their vehicle because they have challenges getting to the store.

Not Being Nice Consequence: The nice gentleman, who I kept from his job for about five minutes, told me a story about what happens when you step outside of the "Work Hard, Be Nice," framework. For example, showing a fellow driver on the road that they are #1 with their middle finger, the employee is dismissed immediately from the company.

Work Hard, Be Nice and COVID-19

We are seeing our already stretched Health Care partners and other essential roles stretched well beyond capacity. And, there is incredible frustration we see from nurses, physicians, hospital administration, who are working harder in conditions we could have expected but never anticipated.

Have you ever noticed that even in their frustration, after an 18-hour shift, in their videos pleading for help or sharing their current situation, our Health Care heroes never lose their kindness? Why? I'm not sure, and I want to believe it's because they have been continuously in service of others and are just trying to protect others, their colleagues, and themselves and their families. And, even though they exemplify the work-hard, be nice culture we discussed, they still don't have the resources they need to do their job!

Work Hard, Be Nice in Solidarity with Health Care Workers

To join in solidarity with our Health Care heroes, we can also work hard. Let's stay out of their way and let them do their job. We can also be nice and give what we can to those on the front-line of these efforts. Be nice and donate, don't complain when those elective services have to be moved, help a neighbor and their family who are in Health Care, and working day and night to help us.

Let's work hard for our Health Care heroes, and let's be nice to each other.

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