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Do Your People Stay Because They Need to Be There or Because They Want to Be There?


Do Your People Stay Because They Need to Be There or Because They Want to Be There?

Balance the Business Identity Behind the Brand in Mid-Large Organizations

Where did things go wrong? When did the brand identity get lost amidst work flow and production?

When you look back at the last 3-5 years of company growth, you might automatically default to looking at the P&L sheets and measure growth by profit and how many followers, likes and shares it has. As a Balance & Relationship Advisor, I look at company growth a bit differently, it’s measured by the brands cultural identity.

Do people want to work there?

Are they encouraged to share innovative ideas?

Are you willing to break outdated norms to build trust, increase reciprocity and retain them?

Do you value your people or only how well they help your company posture for a position of best in industry?

Your commitment to listen to the needs of the people who move the needle of quality service and delivery is integral to increasing dollars just as much as it is to increasing happiness for your needle movers, your people.

At some point, perhaps between the boom in supply and demand and the company team growing from “we are a family” mantras to “who’s the new guy in the office down the hall,” there was a paradigm shift in the culture. It wasn’t a good one either. Your business brand may look great on paper or on your digital footprint, but how does it look behind the published curtain? Do people stay because they need to be there or because they want to be there?

Have you created a culture where those who have been deemed high-achievers and leaders are afraid to set boundaries by not answering emails or calls after-hours? If you have, I guarantee the trickle down from those leaders feels more than a bit yucky to the front-line members below.

Is your company a place where putting in for vacation feels like an act of interrogation as they sit and wait for permission to use time earned? Countries all over the world, including Korea  are moving into a space of awareness that boundaries and balance matters. It’s not cliché and work-life balance is definitely NOT DEAD as some would have you believe.

Whether you have a leadership position or not, think about yourself for a moment, as an individual who does great work and puts in tons of hours for your organization. When you think about your number one struggle, do you want to spend time deciding if its better to play a game of semantics to define the challenge of managing all the things on your plate as a work-life-balance challenge vs work-life integration or work-life conflict? Who cares!  

What you do know, is there’s a disconnect in how things are and how things should be. You chose this field, this industry, this organization because you envisioned working somewhere that allowed you to use the best parts of yourself and feel good doing it. You didn’t imagine working at a company that has a great brand image on the outside, yet the identity inside was out of alignment. You want to come to work, every day for a company that appreciates you while they have you, not when you leave.

So how do you balance the brand identity behind the business?

1. Get Real.

If you are in a position to influence change, then be honest about what change needs to happen. Are you dealing with low morale? Are there communication issues? Do people simply not trust each other? Are there boundary issues between leadership and middle-managers and front-line employees?


2. Speak Up.

If you are not in a position to influence change, if you feel like you aren’t being heard or that no one will listen to you because you don’t hold a certain title, you’re not stuck.

You have a voice and deserve to be heard.

Request a Pre-Exit Meeting with whoever is in charge of People Development and Retention. Those titles are dramatically different from company to company and could fall under the CHRO, Sr. Talent and Retention Officer, CLO, CMO, CEO or even Chief Happiness Officer (yes, that’s a real thing). Tell them that you don’t want to leave, how you love your work and be honest about why you are unhappy.

3. Partner Up and Succeed.

Don’t settle for what the company does on paper. It’s not enough to have webinars and virtual lunch and learns about your personality style or learning stress-management techniques.  Partner with other change makers; ask to create a committee to bring in experts and speakers who can create opportunities to connect people in small groups where everyone is challenged to lead from their seat and be held accountable for the changes they want to see happen.  When you partner you increase your opportunity to succeed.

Mid-Large companies can create a shift in culture that is as well designed and polished as the outward brand they’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in if they are bold enough to balance what really matters before the effects of inside identity spill out.

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