Are you wearing a mask or starting a fire?

Halloween is thought to originate from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. At this time of year it was believed that spirits were able to roam the land. Thus, people wore masks to confuse the ghosts into thinking they were spirits as well.

Sometimes our workplaces resemble Halloween more than we think. Negativity and disengagement can start with just a few unhappy people, unresolved issues or lack of direction, and before you know it, people are adjusting their attitudes to match the environment. Most people don’t want to work this way, but to fit in and not draw attention to themselves, they put on their masks each day and avoid speaking out.

During Samhain, the Celts lit bonfires to ward off spirits. This is what we need to do in our own organizations to keep them strong and healthy. People need something to draw them together and give them strength. These fires can take many shapes and forms – strong purpose and values, leaders who inspire, and teams who go out of their way to make one another look good.

It takes consistent effort to ensure our workplaces are a treat to be in.