Monday, June 25, 2012

People Don't Want to Work

Throughout my life I've heard that certain people just don't want to work. Or there are plenty of jobs out there but people just don't want to work them. Well, here is an interesting challenge to that notion out of Ingrid Martine's The Un-Game:

"...why do great managers ignore the standard assumption that people work for companies? I came to work here because I wanted to work in a forward-looking company with staying power."

"You think you came for that reason, but I bet we could put that to a test. What are reasons you would leave? Look and see what's at the top of your list."

Reflecting only briefly Sam said, "I'd leave if I didn't know what was expected of me, if I didn't have the materials and equipment I need to do my job well, if I didn't have the opportunities to put my talents to work, if nobody noticed I was doing good work. Should I go on?"

Maria nodded.

"I'd leave if nobody cared about me and if the company didn't encourage my development. There are probably other things, but these seem the most important to me. If these things were true over and extended period of time, I'd leave. I'm certain about that. Yes, no 'I guess' about it."

"I believe you, Sam. And who would be responsible for helping you meet those important needs? The company?"

Sam looked intently at her for about twenty seconds, then grinned, delighted with the recognition. "I get it! Ultimately this is about solid, satisfying relationships. It's about being connected. I don't only work for money. It's a negative satisfier and becomes critically important only when I don't have it. That's true for others too. And we don't work for the impersonal entity called 'company.' The company's values must be reflected in its managers' behaviors. We work for our manager. If the relationships suck and the manager ignores our fundamental needs, it's all over. No wonder great managers don't buy that assumption..."

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