Last Saturday I was privileged to be part of my niece’s wedding. It was a memorable occasion, on a beautiful sun-drenched day with joy, love, and fun extending throughout the day and the late-night dancing and celebration. Sunday, however, was different, despite being just as beautiful a day. It was as though the goodness had gone on honeymoon with the bride and groom, and, the weeks’ of planning and preparations now over, the rest of us were left feeling unfocused, flat and purposeless.
This contrast exemplifies the way our attitudes and expectations shape our experience. Nothing had really changed, yet the world felt different. It is undoubtedly a better place when love is prevalent.
Reflecting on this I started questioning why it takes a wedding to bring out all that latent goodwill, fellowship and friendship. Yes, a wedding is a formal declaration of love and common purpose between two people, but it is merely symbolic. The substance exists without it and, apart from formalising it and providing a legal and/or moral framework for the union, the ceremony intrinsically changes nothing. So why isn’t it more evident in everyday life?
Such probing could take a whole book and the issue is certainly too complex to be addressed in this short article. However, a recent LinkedIn post bemoaning the lack of interest in apprenticeships provides an insight into how we may have got our approach all wrong.
The suggestion that our education system does not prepare pupils for work – whether right or wrong – inverts the role of education. This ignores individual potential and aspirations but, even worse, in an age where the nature of work is perpetually changing, and where adaptability is critical, suggests the purpose of education is solely to create employees to meet current needs.
This is compounded by the apparent belief that it is all about pay. The potential earnings depicted are only after several years and even then are hardly earth-shattering. Thus it seems that the whole approach is more about filling jobs than anything else.
Both perpetuate the philosophy of people as nothing more than an expendable resource, and so sabotage all the principles of employee engagement. It is little wonder that there is little interest being shown in the opportunities. There is nothing to invoke love.
Be sure you are not falling into the same trap. Increasingly people want to love their work and to know how they can make a difference to something worthwhile. That is why, every individual matters.
If you like what you have read contact me today for a free 30 minute conversation about how my ‘Every Individual Matters’ Model can provide the catalyst to help you create an organisational culture of ‘Love at Work’ : one where everyone cares and the business becomes our business, so embracing change and transforming – and sustaining – organisational performance.
Bay is the founder and director of Zealise, and the creator of the ‘Every Individual Matters’ organisational culture model that helps transform organisational performance and bottom-line results. Bay is also the author of several books, including “Lean Organisations Need FAT People” and “The 7 Deadly Toxins of Employee Engagement” and, more recently, The Democracy Delusion: How to Restore True Democracy and Stop Being Duped.