This week is a week of anniversaries. Today marks two years since I started working with a train operator as a ticket office clerk. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best job in the world*. Why is this so? The pay is fantastic for the job I perform. But the pay is not why my job is the best in the world. The benefits are great too. We’ve made great use of free and heavily discounted rail travel. But that’s not why my job is the best in the world. There’s a very good final salary based pension at the end of it. Which is nice. But that’s still not the reason.
My job is the best in the world because I enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, if they stop paying me, I’ll stop turning up. But there’s nothing to beat a job you enjoy. I work in a stress free, blame free environment. I have a job to do and I get on with it. That most of my colleagues have been in their jobs for 10, 20, 30, even 40+ years is evidence enough that we have a decent employer. I have found my pot of gold at the end of the employment rainbow.
Most industries could learn a lot from the railways. Instead of trying to wring the last ounce of blood from their ‘team’ for the sake of a productivity spreadsheet, and instead of paying the minimum amount that they can get away with, they could try the railway approach. The gain in expertise, loyalty and a minimal staff turnover pays dividends.
* Obviously, apart from being a professional footballer.