Mar 31, 2022

People come to stay. Or do you know of another relationship that does not start with this goal? Every great love story begins with the intention of spending a lifetime of happiness.

Even if today a certain realism and divorce statistics has caught up with us and we are aware that the Cinderella story is a fairy tale, most people enter into a relationship with the intention to stay.

It is the same in working life.

There may be times when we look for a bread job or a student job or an internship. But when we're looking for "the" job, we don't have a temporary one in mind. As long as it lasts, says our realism. Our intention is to stay, as long as we are allowed to develop, our brain cells remain active and inspired, there is enough variety, development opportunities in breadth, for some also in height.

Last week a client said to me: "Sabine, you are right. We often say WE ARE A FAMILY, but that's not true. We don't give notice to a family member."

In a family, you forgive everything, sometimes give orders, and even if your children are lazy and troublesome, you will never disown them, but love them forever.

What are the reasons to stay on the job?

Or better: When do you stay in a relationship? Because your parents and society told you to? Because that's just the way it's done? Because that's the way it's always been and it makes it easier, even if it doesn't make you happy? Because there are bills to pay and children to take care of?

I'm sure these were all motivating factors from most of our grandparents and parents. Not for my generation, and not for most of our children either.

A company is not a family. But you can compare it with relationships. Whether friendship or love relationships. In most cases the “in-love” phase ends after 6 to 12 months in any relationship. That is its nature. And when no dependencies or fears hold us, we can work to make something great out of it OR separate.

But when it nurtures us and when we are allowed to grow and develop, and when we can be ourselves - when we are accepted for who we are - when we have the feeling being part of something good and meaningful –> this engages us, makes us want to contribute and give our whole self in.

People, no matter what hierarchical level, want to contribute to the big picture.

Some might call this purpose. It doesn't have to be formulated in such a big way, but it should make sense and not just to achieve the bonus at the end of the year. People want to grow and develop, and that doesn't mean exclusively up the career ladder, but mainly in depth and broadly.

When people have decided to leave, it doesn't happen overnight.

It is a long process that leads first to internal resignation and finally to leaving. Because many leaders, are often so wrapped up in the day-to-day business of deadlines and meeting goals, they often don't notice until it's already too late.

Isn't it often similar in breakups? We wonder why one partner has had enough, even though they complain about their dissatisfaction for years and end up keeping quiet and leaving.

But what does that mean for leadership and how to implement it in companies?

The key is transparency and open communication. We don't have a parent/child relationship in the company, but a relationship between ADULTS. And this relationship, based on free will and intrinsic motivation, needs respect and psychological safety.

It needs trusting and open communication. Not left in uncertainty. Our brain hates uncertainty. It is the worst thing for us humans. We cope much better with negative news than not knowing what might happen. Because than we have the change to navigate, to make decisions and to come up with solutions. That's the only way to build trust.

The problem is that most leaders don't have the WHOLE picture in mind and focus either.

Everyone thinks in their own bubble, their department, their area, their goals, their ingroup. Therefore, we want to keep especially good and reliable employees forever.

That's understandable, because they save us a lot of trouble and energy and help us achieve our goals. But we tend to think too short-term. That, too, is quite human.

Many people would not leave the company, if their managers had an eye for the big picture and thought long-term and strategically and would promote development across the organization.

People come to stay.

And the path to a happy, long-lasting and fulfilling relationship is WORK - constant, trust, encouragement, honesty, transparency, laughing and crying, supporting each other…

What can we learn from private relationships that we can transfer to our everyday leadership and work? I promise you: quite a lot. Because the patterns and principles are very similar.

Recognition, being heard and seen, being taken seriously, getting attention, being true to your word, having good intentions, and wishing and supporting each other's best.

All humans, including you and me, we always behave according to the given structures and processes. People come to stay. Let's give them the space to grow and bloom.




Sabine Caliskan

CEO of ParP - PeopleAtRightPlace

Sabine is a behavioral design architect, key-note speaker and consultant for organizational transformation, decision making and a new work singer. Her key areas include growth mindset, the fearless organization and shaping a learning and leadership culture for the future. In 2020 her organization has been awarded from HR Tech Outlook among the top 10 companies in the "Top European Leadership Development Company" category creating sustainable impact.

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