WHAT APPEARS TO BE
“80% of teachers leaving highly challenging schools reported that a higher salary would not have kept them there (Johnson and Duffett, 2003).” (Douglas Reeves, The Learning Leader, 2006) “I wonder, is it the same in business? When we ask this question in training sessions the answer is an emphatic ‘eyes.'”
More data for you: “In organizations of all types, public and private, large and small, for-profit and nonprofit, relationships — particularly with leaders — are one of the single greatest predictors of employee performance, satisfaction, and turnover (Buckingham & Coffman, 1999).” (Reeves)
WHAT MIGHT BE
Isn’t it ironic that most organizations rely on a carrot called “money” to retain a person? This, of course, completely blows the bottom line because in reality it is a strategy that is not nearly as effective as people think is.
Here’s a thought: decision makers in organizations tend to be extremely driven — they willingly work longer hours, knowingly sacrificing so they can achieve. Then they are compensated financially for doing so. Is it possible that some of these bosses (note: the word ‘leader’ is omitted) in turn manage those under them the same way: defaulting to the idea that what those under them want most is money — when in reality what most of these people want even more than money is a high quality of life?
Clearly: money talks. But according to the second set of data above and others like it, other things — talk as well — like relationships. How many marriages are you aware of where successful is determined by how much money the couple makes? (Yes, I know, there are some, but they’re in the minority.) Is it any different in the workplace? Wall Street has forced a system on us where success is determined by how much money our organization makes. But does that have to be the only indicator of success within an organization’s walls?
WHAT CAN BE
Too many people are too wise. They know that at the end of this game life there is a “bottom line” that supersedes the bottom line of their wallet and the organization’s spreadsheets. It’s the quality of life equation.
Too many people know that you can provide the highest wages, but doing so does nothing to ensure the highest levels of productivity. What does? The biggest factor in the quality of life equation is relationships.
Yet (and here’s the catch), too many people wait for someone else to build the relationship with them. These same people default to the belief that if they have a different job, or a different spouse, then they will have greater relationships. All the while, these people miss the point: they are the one responsible for the health of all the relationships they are in.
Today, what will you do to build stronger relationships around you? The quality of life equation is not a “secret” (regardless of what any movie says). How will you listen more — give more –care more — show greater interest — forgive quicker — be more proactive — be clearer — take more responsibility — show greater accountability — and do more for those around you?
Your boss is no longer the greatest predictor of your performance and job satisfaction. You are. Regardless of your occupation, build the job you want to have.
What is the difference between what ‘might be’ and what ‘can be’? You decide.