It’s Sunday night, you’re chilling or hanging with friends, and then it hits you – I HAVE TO GO TO WORK TOMORROW!!! NO!!!!!! Why does this happen? I’d argue that if your place of employment had an irresistible culture that was fun, engaging, and full of purpose, the Sunday Night Blues would be few and far between. What makes a culture so amazing that its employees look forward to Monday’s? Here are 8 things that I’ve found create massive sucking sounds.

Lackluster Leadership

When the leaders of your shop are entitled, evoke special privileges for themselves, break promises, and point fingers, odds are you feel like walking out that proverbial door and never turning back.

It’s sad, but leaders quickly forget that they are called to be the chief servants to their clients and team.

I had many opportunities to start cutting corners when I was leading a business, but instead I made it my mantra that I would never ask my team to do things that I wouldn’t do. In the end, I created so much connection through leading with integrity that my team would follow me anywhere.

Lack of Encouragement

Few things will derail people faster than being in an environment where encouragement is lacking. People need the positive feedback to give them the wind in their sails to make it through the toughest circumstances. If you knew that you’d receive meaningful encouragement on Monday, I guarantee you that Sunday wouldn’t be so bad.

Low Chemistry

Pat Lencioni says that the biggest competitive advantage for any organization is teamwork. I couldn’t agree more. When your crew has that special magic mojo working and is rowing in the same direction, there is nothing more fun and rewarding. Conversely, when a team hates each other, it is the most miserable place on the planet.


Any team can handle losing at something now than then, but when the losses begin to pile up, momentum dies, and the simplest things take a mile of effort to move an inch.

Losing breeds relaxed standards, micromanaging, and increased pressure.

Who looks forward to more of that?

Life-sucking Politics

People want to feel that they are empowered to do their job and when leaders make it hard by adding unnecessary layers of approval for the smallest of decisions, they end up discouraged and demotivated.

Most people will tell you, “I didn’t sign up for this!” …and they’d be right!

Late Communication

Change is inevitable, but when change happens in a way that makes you feel like you’re the last person to know, it can become damaging. Whether it has to do with people transitioning, new job duties, or a new departmental direction, timely communication can soothe a lot of pain. What makes it worse is when you have a level of authority and influence and a major change comes out that you didn’t get to weigh in on. Stiff arming decisions that you have leaders available to help make never goes well. You can get away with a couple calls like that, but in the end, you’ll burn the bridge by failing to obtain the buy in needed to do it right.

Limited Value

Have you ever felt like a number, a puzzle piece, or a pawn? This is NOT a recipe for longevity at any organization.

We all want to do work that matters and makes a difference. If you don’t fully understand the deep-lasting value that you bring to the team, then Sunday nights and Monday mornings will be a complete life-drain.

Ludicrous Compensation

Few people are truly motivated by the almighty dollar but pay them less than what they’re worth, and you’ll be surprised how powerful money can be. With sites like Glassdoor, most people have a pretty good handle on what the going rate is for their type of job these days. The sad thing is that most leaders are convinced that their people are ignorant and don’t have a clue, which leads them to underpay rather than hit the bullseye. How motivated do you think people are to take an after hours call or even get excited about Monday morning when they’re struggling to pay their bills knowing that the other place down the road could pay them more… a lot more?

Putting it All Together

Let’s do a little assessment. Take the eight points you just read about and rate how you experience each of these in your workplace, using the scale below from 1 (Never Happens) to 5 (Always Happens) –


1 – Never Happens

2 – Almost Never Happens

3 – Sometimes Happens

4 – Almost Always Happens

5 – Always Happens


When completed, add up the ratings and use this quick guide to help you interpret your results:

8 to 16 – You’re at a great place with great leadership! Keep growing!

17 to 29 – Meet with your direct report to see if there is anything you could do to help improve the environment.

30 to 40 – It may be time to start thinking about an exit strategy. There’s too much heavy lifting for you to try to fix the mess alone, if you are not the leader.

*If you are the leader, and want some clarity, I encourage you to send this article to your team and then ask them to anonymously fill it out and turn it in. Your team will be encouraged by your desire for feedback and improvement. The results may help you figure out EXACTLY where the pain may be coming from. *

Leaders, don’t lose heart! You can fix this! I inherited a group to lead that would’ve scored over 30 and in one year, changed the environment around to the point that it would’ve scored under 20. It is possible, but it starts with YOU.

I hope this helps and gives you the clarity you need for the next Sunday night you dread going to work Monday morning.