Good morning to my superhero colleagues!
In central London there is an area called Chelsea. Through it there is an east-west dividing line known as The Kings Road. North of this line is has extreme wealth, and south of it is poor. Within a distance of 50m you could see huge contrast.
I grew up on the south side in the 1980s. I can remember burnt out cars in the street, and the lower floors of the tall 20 story red brick apartment buildings having iron bars on the windows. Drugs, gangs, and street crime were visible daily. Graffiti on every wall and broken needles in the playground wasn’t uncommon. I also recognize through the lottery of where I was born and the upbringing I had, that I am lucky! There are still far worse places to be born into.
It is no crime to be born into a bad environment, but it is a terrible thing to want to stay in it.
I bring this up today because you probably see and feel things around you in your work place that are in the negative. To deal with it we have 2 options…
Some people will take option one, and this year we have said goodbye to many colleagues, and until we remedy that, the attrition rate will remain high. Ignoring that they are leaving doesn’t change it, they clearly have reasons, so we can learn from them.
It can be easy to walk away (especially if you feel underappreciated and not cared for), but it’s also a gamble. In the short term the positives are attractive: an obvious method of change, more money, growth and adventure… “It’s the best thing for me and my family”. We can all support and understand that choice.
But what if you picked option 2, and gave some effort into making your surroundings here better. And what if the 30 people around you are motivated to do the same… if we all had the mindset for a small, smart change, set by following a good example, some good leadership and inspiring each other.
Soon you are working in a supportive, caring environment. Taking home happy thoughts, positive vibes and good energy. Do you think that would be the best thing for you and your family?
Imagine coming home from work:
This time you are not crashing on the sofa in an exhaustive heap with grumbles of stress moments and problems, proclaiming to need some me time.
… Instead you are pumped and passionate to tell your family that today you helped someone out, you were inspired, you solved a problem or generated a smile. Then imagine being stopped in the street or shopping centre by a friend and colleague who tells your family that you make a difference in their life, you make the office better for them, a pleasure to work with. How much pride and self-worth can that generate? And what do you think your family will feel about you on hearing that public feedback?
I want us all to focus on option 2… We can change our working environment for the better.
What we have is not “south side bad”, but clearly there are some negatives. The effort to fix them for one person is huge, but if 30 of us make a small contribution then very quickly we are creating a positive environment, raising morale and infectiously inspiring each other.
Today I want you to start to show that you care: The way we work post pandemic means that the home office is a regular thing for us. And if someone isn’t in the office we automatically assume that they are just working from home. But do you know for sure? Probably not. They may be sick or feeling down. So call them or send a simple Teams check in message. See if you can help, and even if you can’t help, you can still listen with sympathy. I do this with my crew, whether their Teams tag is green or yellow, it doesn’t matter! Let them know you’re available to help and that you care. The home office can feel isolating, but isolation can also feel like exclusion. Reaching out to a colleague and letting them know that their presence is missed adds value to their sense of belonging, and this office is going to become a community of caring and support.
Remember: Small, smart changes. The more people with have following these ideas, the quicker we reach our goals.
Look around. Who isn’t in the office today?