Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about “care” in the workplace especially in the #wellness arena. In short, the idea is if “leaders” care more about their employees then greater success will be achieved.
I’m a big fan of more #caring in the workplace. I don’t believe we need to quantify care, it just makes sense, right? If given a choice be caring and not caring I feel like it’s pretty darn obvious which approach will benefit a person and an organization.
Here’s my issue with “care” as the focus…
We do not tend to care about people we don’t know or understand.
- I see a woman walking on the sidewalk outside my window and I don’t care about her.
- Someone in Maine just won an award and I don’t care about them.
- A fellow employee in some other part of the company just filed for divorce and I don’t really care.
Ok, granted, we don’t want bad things to happen to people but we really don’t tend to care especially if we don’t have a personal #connection to them. (I wonder how many people who lost a child to brain cancer would start a non-profit organization for Amazonian beetles. Of course not, their non-profit would focus on the specific kind of brain cancer their child died from because THAT is where their deep, personal connection is rooted.)
Now, if someone on my team had a sick kid then I’d feel bad for them and their child because I tend to develop deeper relationships with the people I work with closely. Some bosses wouldn’t care and my argument is because they don’t have a connection or relationship with that person. (#flagontheplay)
The point is:
The stronger the relationship is the more likely we are to care.
The more emotionally connected two people are the more they’ll care for each other.
Relationships and connection require knowing and understanding each other.
Therefore, in order to “care more” (and reap those benefits) we simply need to connect more which means getting to know each other on a deeper and more personal level. (It does NOT mean you need to know each others’ deepest and darkest secrets.)
And whoever said business isn’t personal is wrong because if a person is involved than it IS person-al.
Very important issue; a behavior very often overlooked!
Many figures whose purpose is to motivate other people make the mistake of focusing only on extrinsic motivation. That is, they focus exclusively on sessions, work groups, presentations, interventions, reports and in general communications based on their perception of what the group should be motivating, completely neglecting the aspects that are important, stimulating and motivating for the group . Many managers make the mistake of thinking that the achievement of a goal that is motivating for them, stimulating is also for the people they manage. The fact is that there are different factors that can motivate people.
Intrinsic motivation is something that the collaborator has within himself, his personal motivations, the things that have an important meaning for him. Intrinsic motivation supports an employee on a personal level; as it focuses on everything it believes in: values, autonomy, progress, relationships. In this way the motivation will not only be more intense, but also more lasting: they are concepts like the purpose and the values that really move the soul in the long term.
But to give employees the confidence that they can say what they think without fear of consequences, we must first create a relationship with them. That is, creating the conditions that people can express their ideas freely must establish an open dialogue with their collaborators.
Thank you for your contributions Aldo. Indeed, intrinsic motivation is important but in the past 10+ years I believe the workplace, i.e. managers, and the wellness industry at large, are still missing the point. Intrinsic motivation is not just about a given person finding what matters to them and pursuing which. What I believe comes FIRST is having that love, support, connection and belief from someone else which will then provide you with the critical emotional energy needed for you to find your path, values and beliefs. A great example is a child… they know nothing of their own values, self-awareness or what matters to and motivates them BUT if they have the love and support of a parent, teacher, coach, or other, it will give them the emotional energy to seek it out. Unfortunately, too many kids (and adults) do not receive the love, support and connection they need so they struggle to identify what matters and motivates them.
First of all I thank you for offering your attention to my comment and for the clarifications that you underline. Comments that Absolutely I share.
The way in which we approach our collaborators is fundamental for the success of professional relationships, as well as successes and long-term results.
Love is activated in the group precisely when recognition, valorisation, protection and production are mutual. All the actors participate together in the organizational dynamics. A true leader is genuinely interested in the growth of his resources and urges them to give their all, to overtake the teacher, without fear of losing authority or being overtaken. Showing their employees concrete attention to their development path evidently favors the creation of strong ties between an employee and his manager, stimulating loyalty and a sense of gratitude.
But, more generally, love-based leadership is a leadership that has the human dimension of the organization at heart, which is also the most important one. The motivation to work of people comes directly from within organizations, from favorable and welcoming culture, from positive emotions. Love, for people, is the foundation of work incentives.
Yes, Kevin, you touched on the issues of human connection. By virtue of our humanity, we are capable of connecting with each other and therefore caring. The problem I run into is managers who do not understand the need for an interpersonal connection with their subordinates. I suspect that beneath that issue is the fact that they do not know how to connect. Making friends is generally organic; you connect where there is a connection and walk past everyone else as strangers. At work, the people you need to connect with are predetermined by some criteria other than a personal similarity. In fact, most managers are faced with forming connections (or not) with people much different from themselves. For people who do not have a highly developed social aptitude, it can be a struggle, however, one that is worth the effort, as you point out.