The Great Realization #7: Converging in the Job
I see you.
This is one of those lines from a movie that sticks. It’s from the James Cameron 2009 sci-fi film, Avatar. Simply said, this movie has many layers of allegory. One hidden in plain sight is that its indigenous inhabitants, the Na’vi, have a saying, “I see you”. It’s more than just the physical seeing-ness. It’s deeper. A sign of respect, and conveys that the one sharing the greeting values the one receiving it.
I have seen a version of this in the workplace. One of my peers uses the phrase, “I appreciate you”. When I first experienced her using this, I have to say, I heard it and lifted an eyebrow. It sounded a little cheesy. And then I saw her face, and how she delivered it. She offered it with absolute regard, respect, intention, and wholeheartedness. It floored me. What a tremendous way to share value with the people we work with. Every day I do my best to use it the same way as my peer: to genuinely share appreciation for others.
Employers need to see their employees. They need to appreciate the value they bring to the health and well-being of the organization and the day-to-day performance. And the employees need to do the same. We are not higher or lower; at least, we shouldn’t be. Instead, we are alongside one another. We need to see and appreciate each other and lift up the value we provide both ways.
This series has been a follow-up to the series that came before it. The Great Realization series elevated the employee’s point of view and looked at the job along the path of the employee’s life cycle. The Why People Stay series was the perspective of the employer and what leadership can do to engage and invest in making the employee experience matter.
At this point, the two perspectives converge. The job, and how each of them has influence. Here are five places where convergence matters.
Purpose should never be one-sided. The argument may be that it’s up to the organization to establish the mission of the business. I contend when the mission is fully shared, and everyone has a stake in the value proposition, that’s when performance takes off. I have always said if the goal identifies profitability as the only measurable, then the business suffers. The job has to have purpose, and every team member has to feel like they are contributing to the greater good. Beyond the business and into the communities they serve, the teams must feel like they are all striving to somehow make a difference. This isn’t anti-capitalism, or that paying attention to the bottom line is bad. Profit is still a goal. Just not the only goal.
One of the most effective ways to ensure people are thriving in their job is to ensure that the expectations given are clearly defined and communicated. Ever been told to do something and not told how, or maybe even more importantly, why? How’d the success go? How successful was the business when everyone tried their best to figure it out inconsistently as they worked through the day? The simple approach here…when something needs to be done…state clearly, what, why, especially how, and to what extent. If I’m the leader, what’s the gap? If I’m the team member, same question.
Feedback, insight, advice, and correction are all gifts. And when there is a defined and regular time when all leaders and team members can talk about the job, people get better. Relationships get better, and that impacts the business. If I know I get to talk regularly about what’s happening, why, and how, then we move forward together toward success, and control is elevated. Even if the conversations are about failure, as well as success and keeping things real, then I feel like I’m growing with others. Not just trying to do my best, isolated, and on an island doing my own thing.
What are the ways we all come together? Is it team meetings? Is it the platform where everyone communicates? How are we plugging everyone into the flow and direction of the organization? Live streams, summits, virtual platforms, collaboration sessions, and team-building opportunities? Leaders and team members thrive when they get to connect. It’s not just the information or nature of the business, it’s the power of community. Peer-to-peer engagement makes everyone better.
The bottom line, everything flows downstream from culture. Belief, especially collective belief, is a fuel for organizational health and well-being. It stimulates drive, innovation, ownership, empowerment, and a sense of belonging. We are all walking the same path together doing what we do in our jobs, or we’re in silos doing our own thing. Call it family. Call it being part of a clan or tribe. Are we better together or just doing the best we can, as we can, separately?
The constant will always be the job. Selling the product. Managing the inventory. Taking care of the billing and cash receivables. Ensuring the technology is working. Each job with a specific function. It’s the variables, though, that make the job worth doing or can make it feel like a day-to-day grind. All the things put into place to support the leaders guiding it and the team members getting it done. It’s the value we place on it being done, and being seen as valuable doing it.
Why People Stay and the Great Realization are saying the same thing, albeit from two different perspectives. The job is important, but it’s not the main thing. It’s how we apply meaning to what we do and how we do it…as a leader and as a team member. And the greatest part of the journey, whether it’s getting an employee to stick around or realizing what’s important in our career, is ultimately how we get closer to figuring out who we are and who we are becoming.
This is the seventh and last episode in the series, The Great Realization. Putting it all into perspective.
Check out my article on LinkedIn.
Check out our other blogs here: Blog – Russell Cellular.
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