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Team building and working together toward employee loyalty.“How’s it coming?” my boss asked one night before a major deadline.

“Just pacing. Pacing, pacing, pacing,” I said back.

This was over text.

“Can I talk you down?” he said next.

So, I called him, and he spent the next 20 minutes talking me down from my near full-blown panic attack. When I got off the phone with him, I sat back down at my computer and cranked out the rest of the project, finishing it in time to show some prospective clients the next morning.

I think about that often when I’m working on projects for him and his company.

I think about the fact that not only can I vent to him when I get overwhelmed by the work, but that he actually cares that his employees are in a good head space.

I’m not the only one.

Time and time again, I’ve seen people be incredibly loyal to him and to the company. I’ve seen people given better job offers and turn them down because they wouldn’t dream of betraying Marwan. I’ve seen people work long hours without complaint because they care about the job and care that it gets done properly.

Marwan often talks about the company being like family. In fact, a lot of companies talk that way, but not many follow through on it.

That might be where other companies struggle to find the same kind of loyalty. You can talk about being like a family all day long, but if there’s no follow through, who’s to believe it?

The fact of the matter is that many employers get into a mindset where their employees are machines – something to be utilized and little more. I’m not going to sit here and shame those people or get judgmental about it. I’m just going to suggest that perhaps it’s better for everyone if more employers adopted the idea that their company really is like family. What if they saw each other as whole other humans all working towards the same goals and trying to live their best lives at the same time?

Why Does It Matter, Anyway?

During the week, we spend half our waking lives at work – and that’s just for the people working 40 hours a week.

According to Gallup, 50% of U.S. adults reported working over 40 hours a week.

That’s a lot of hours to spend at work.

That’s a lot of hours taken from our finite lifespans that we’ll never get back.

On some level, everybody knows this.

But, those hours don’t have to be hell. They don’t have to be a grueling trudge through obligation. It’s possible for employees to come in excited about their work. It’s possible to be happy to go the extra mile for an employer who makes you feel like your time is valued. It’s possible to find meaning in your work.

Basically: they don’t have to be hours we feel were wasted. We don’t have to feel as if we’ve lost a part of our lives that can’t be returned to us.

The benefits to employees when they’re treated like actual human beings is obvious, but I have to wonder if there isn’t a benefit in it for employers, as well. Obviously, there’s the increased productivity when people feel energized about the work they’re doing. Obviously, there’s the fact that there will be fewer callouts when people actually feel good about coming into the office (or telecommuting as it is these days)… but I wonder if there isn’t something else as well.

Those long hours aren’t just worked by employees – they’re often worked by employers, as well. Often, the employers spend even more of their irretrievable hours at work than the employees do.

I can’t help but wonder if those hours feel better spent when working with people who feel like cogs to you, or when you come into work greeted by people who actually mean something to you.