For those of you who don’t know me – I’m a music freak !!
One of my favorite artists is Bruce Springsteen and his classic album “Born in the U.S.A.” came out when I was in college and about to leave my hometown. The last track on side two of the album (yes, album) was “My Hometown” and it hit me hard because even though I was going to leave my hometown soon, it brought up so many great memories.
You see, I hail from the booming metropolis (Village actually) of Ada, Ohio. Ada has a population of just over 5,000 people. It is technically the “center of the universe” if you didn’t know that because you can go anywhere from Ada , and if you travel around the whole world, you have to go through Ada.
That may not be a scientific fact, but it seemed like the center of the universe to me. You see, in Ada, you know EVERYONE and EVERYONE knows you. My school was K-12 in one building and my graduating class was an amazing 73 people !! I loved every moment of my time in Ada because I learned the value of truly knowing people.
In Ada, it mattered to know everyone’s name and something about them because you were bound to see them somewhere around town and it was much better to have a conversation than just say, “Hey !!” (our version of “Hi!”)
Lately, this has been playing on me because in today’s organizations, we are more concerned with getting stuff done whether the people who are doing those things matter or not. HR is a major culprit in not addressing this fault in company cultures. We should be the ONE area that won’t stand idly by to have yet another employee ignored.
We spend so much time making sure people just show up and that is more important than seeing who they are, what they’re like and what they truly want to offer the company.
It’s time to use a little of that hometown experience at my workplace and at workplaces around the country. Get to know your people. You’ll be astonished at how incredible they really are !!
What do you think? Is this too Utopian ?? Or, is it just overdue and we’ve forgotten how important this is ?? Let me know your thoughts.