Breaking cynicism in the employment cycle

In business we often hear criticisms of employers who are uncaring of their employees, who exploit their staff and always put the good of the business above people’s personal needs.

It is not a nice thing. At the end of the day it is our humanity that is important. It is our human lives that matter way more then the lives of our businesses.

I have always been a big advocate of this position. Even before I became an entrepreneur I realised that how we treat people, especially our own, is so important. Within my own business I have the platform to live this value. I often sacrifice the good of the whole for the good of individual’s within it. At the same time I also teach my team that some times we personally need to sacrifice ourselves for the good of the whole. And how fulfilling this can be for our personal lives. “The success of an organization depends on the contribution of each individual, whilst the success of each individual depends on the contribution of the organization”

In the past 2 months, 3 of my staff have handed in their resignations to move to jobs they perceive as offering them a higher rank and pay. Two of them left working less then their notice period and the other left working the minimum, leaving me in the lurch.

As a person who invests a lot in my team, and who goes way beyond the call of duty in nourishing and supporting their individual lives…It was very painful to feel that when it came down to them reciprocating the care, it just didn’t happen. Each of them put their own individual lives and progress beyond the good of the business and the mission that they were once a part of working towards.

In face of this pain, your heart wants to close. It wants to stop caring and giving in the same way. It wants to protect itself from future pain.

Of course, being conscious of all this, I know I have a choice, and I would never choose to close my heart, to care less or to stop giving all of myself to others. No matter how hurt I am by the situations whether it takes me a day, a week, a month or a year – I will forgive each of them. It feels personal – as though they don’t respect me, my mission and the human connection we built over the time with the business. But really its not personal, how they choose to live their lives, what values they follow and how much they care about others is no reflection of me or my work.

Being a very left-leaning individual I always found it easy to criticize employers and defend employees. But this situation has made me realise that employees also have a part to play in this unhealthy employer-employee dynamic.

Pain causes people to close their hearts and become cynical of the good in the world. Pain creates more pain. Employees are also responsible for the values they are choosing to imprint into their actions.  When what employers do is not valued, it fuels the downward spiral of lack of care.

So if you are an employee who wants to see more conscious employer-employee relationships, then value the part you play in the system. Your actions send signals to the market. What are you valuing? And is this reflected in your actions?

And if you are an employer, you must do the same. Each challenge is an opportunity to dig deeper into the values that you believe in. Will the cycle of pain be conducted through you or will you choose another road.

The other roads of forgiveness and compassion may be harder, they may test you to the core…but I promise they end up in a much happier place.

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