But I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Have you ever stayed in a situation you wish you would have left sooner? Perhaps it was a large commitment like a job, or a short interaction like a customer service phone call to obtain information. You might not necessarily regard your stick-to-itiveness as loyalty on your part…rather, you were holding out hope for something better (e.g., a promotion, an answer to your inquiry) or you simply did not have means or opportunity to leave.
Staying within a work context: I wonder if the average person knows that many organizations have aggressive goals for employee retention. But the reality is that some employees would fare better if they left their organization, as would their organization…so why stop them?
What I find even more fascinating is a current trend of organizations wanting their employees to feel a sense of belonging in the organization. Belonging is positive when an employee truly feels connected with the organization. However, belonging can also involve a need to fit into culturally acceptable boxes, often defined by those in authority – so belonging in this way can atrophy a person’s creative and authentic “muscles” at work.
In the words of the band U2’s song title—also inspiration for this blog title—I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For is a conversation opportunity.
I believe that people doing what they must for their own lives far outweighs achieving any employee retention goal an organization may have. Now is the time—if not before—that we should be treating people as people (the human beings they are) and not as objects at our disposal to meet a goal or achieve a cultural imperative. Any time we reduce someone to an object because it serves us, those energies are likely to bear rotten fruit. When an organization creates real relationships with its people, they are likely to bear more, and even riper, fruit than imaginable.
This Week: If you are an organization feeling frustrated by the current realities you are facing (e.g., employees leaving or not feeling they belong), remember to ask each and every employee what he or she is seeking, even if it’s not immediately achievable. If you are an individual who is dissatisfied with your current situation—be it a job that feels like a sinking ship or otherwise—ask yourself, “How’s it supposed to be?” Your answer may reveal an untapped desire you might want to pursue now or at some point. And given the opportunity, be ready to share that.
In Next Week’s Post: Toxic Cultures
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