“We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph.”
Nobel Peace Prize winner, educator, author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel is described as a “messenger to mankind.” In the preceding excerpt he offers unexpected perspective on talent management. His reflection suggests we might best consider these “assets” one soul at a time.
Aspirations & Expectations
We live in a competitive global knowledge economy. Knowledge workers are central to this system - when they soar, their employers can thrive. Both theory and practice recognize that aspirations and expectations of employees are crucial to their productive engagement. Regardless of sector, talent engagement and development are vital features in human capital management.
It is obvious most people work for economic reasons. But, all people have lives with psychological, social, spiritual and physical dimensions. Research indicates that “meaningful work” is highly dependent on the quality of relationships with supervisors and colleagues. When managers use their power to include, enable, challenge and reward they tacitly acknowledge the whole individual. Simple, authentic inquiries about hopes, achievements or risks can build trust. They can also reveal the insights Wiesel mentions.
In general, most people find satisfaction if their work makes sense and there’s clarity about how success is defined. They also need to understand their responsibilities as part of a larger, cogent scheme. A mutual reliance or interdependence is another aspect of healthy culture and a functional organization. People seek autonomy, complexity and a connection with what they do and results. These conditions and experiences don’t happen often enough.
We all have a chance to contribute to a workplace that is meaningful. Discover the treasures, anguish and triumphs of the people you interact with each day. Share some of yours. The effort will yield important returns.
-Lisa Wyatt, Ed. D. is a strategy architect and partner in Phillip Wyatt Knowlton, Inc. PWK is a performance management resource for systems and social change with clients worldwide. She is also n author and W.K. Kellogg Leadership Fellow. See : www.pwkinc.com