NOTE: Now, please know that I’m well aware that the “church” is not the building. I hope you read on to see what I’d like to talk about . . .
Many memories happened at this church. Weddings of my cousins and friends. Funerals of dear people from Ada including grandparents. Making pumpkin pies and hard tack candy for our youth group fundraisers. Holding hands with my first girlfriend while I was supposed to pay attention to the service. And most of all, tons of experiences that shaped me as a young man and helped define my faith.
Also, this past week, I learned of a friend’s, Dawn Hrdlica-Burke, loss of her father. Three others facing serious, if not life threatening, health situations. A continued group of people who remain jobless, and several folks near me recovering from the devastation of recent tornadoes.
Now, if you read my blog with any regularity, you know that I’m generally an extremely positive person !! It’s not a facade or on-line persona, it’s who I really am. So, when significant things hit home they really hit home. It made me think . . .
You see, when I posted on Twitter and Facebook that my hometown church had been destroyed, I received messages of empathy and encouragements from literally around the globe. That floored me !! I was so thankful that I had people that cared enough to reach out and give a kind word. And then I thought again . . .
Every day in the workplace the people around me are going through “stuff” just like this or worse. Do I take the time to see if they’re truly okay? Or, do I do the obligatory “Hi, how are you?” waiting for their inevitable answer of “Fine.” We continue to be polite with each other because that next e-mail or task is really what we’re focused on vs. taking the time to see how someone truly is.
The fact of the workplace is that we want people to focus on the “stuff” we think is truly important like processes, projects and time frames. We don’t want to deal with people’s “stuff” because that takes too much time, and what if they truly want me to care?
As I mentioned before, I was floored at the responses I received and am thankful that I have people who feel close enough to share their thoughts. However, I truly feel that many people walk through the doors at work every day with life’s struggles in front of them, and they may have few, if any, people supporting them through what they’re facing.
It’s time for HR to be the model and break this distant approach with people. People DO matter and it SHOULD matter to us how they’re doing. It may get messy and you may have to act, but isn’t that great? We need to be the ones taking the time to see how people really are. It may be the ONE thing they’re looking for – a genuine connection at work.
This week, break the mold. Be the Human that others need. Take the time to get involved with their “stuff.” It will change the world !!