I’ve just spent a week working with a few of my Actionable colleagues on the other side of the world. This gave me cause to reflect on both the obvious and intangible elements that contribute to our exceptionally collaborative team culture. It also meant that I had a lot of time on several airplanes to catch up on my reading list. Something that had been in my Pocket list for awhile was this short article by Olivia Godhill about employee happiness. I wrote about this topic years ago, and have since mostly ignored the employee happiness hype, but it continues to be an alarmingly popular aspiration for many in HR.
Posts from the ‘Weekly Musings’ Category
If you had to choose between two employees for your organization, both solid performers, one deeply passionate about their work and profession but who will leave within 3 years, and the other who is looking for a long-term career with your company but sees this work as “just a job”, who would you pick? .
If you chose the passionate employee who’s likely to move on soon, why? I’m not suggesting that this choice is wrong. But I am curious about the reasons behind it.
This week I noticed an eye-catching stat making the rounds again. You’ve likely seen it as well:
“65% of today’s elementary school students will do jobs that do not yet exist”
Although it sounds believable, the claim is actually quite suspect. You can read a thoughtful tale of its history and context in this excellent essay from Benjamin Doxtdator: ‘A Field Guide to ‘jobs that don’t exist yet’’.
The underlying message this stat conveys is that education is failing to prepare our next generation for the economy of tomorrow. And hey, don’t we already have a digital skills gap?
The perils and promise we imagine the future to hold are like a mirage on the horizon, reflecting a time that never really arrives. It is the perfect canvas for us to project our hopes and fears onto, always ahead, ominous or inviting.
The result is that we fail to attend to the present and our recent past, and the clues they might offer to validate or diminish our fears and hopes.
Are you as productive as you want to be? Me neither. And although it fills me with self-loathing, I still occasionally succumb to the lure of those click-bait articles about productivity hacks based on the words of “wisdom” some sublimely productive human has shared with a business or lifestyle writer, presumably while also shaving and spending quality time reading poetry with their children and beloved pets.
I resist popular things. Apparently there’s a name for this: reactance, and it relates to not enjoying being told what to do. I didn’t see The Sixth Sense until 2008, and then I proceeded to tell everyone I knew who’d raved about when it was released in 1999: “I get it now! Bruce Willis was dead the whole time!” This really annoys people; psychologists should probably come up with a term for that too..