DOES A CORPORATE FAMILY REALLY EXIST ?

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By Steven Uwajeh

Ever heard senior organization leaders say, “We are a family”?

An ex-colleague and I discussed it and concluded it was a disingenuous statement. On further reflection, I figured that the statement was flawed not just as an issue of morality but practicality.

The statement is flawed mainly because of the difference in how families and employers define value. Organizations value their staff for the contributions they bring to the mission. It’s a transactional relationship—they’re recruited for their expertise.

In a family, individuals are the value; they’re not brought in to fulfill a role. This divergence in value judgment clarifies why a family doesn’t layoff its members to manage the budget, for underperformance or discord.

On the contrary, organizations may lay off staff for any number of reasons.

Similarly, employees will likely exit a challenging or non-paying employer. The distinction lies in the nature of these relationships.

Instead of embracing the family metaphor, genuine employers should strive to be employee-focused. Consider your employees as your first and best customers.

An employee-focused employer doesn’t feign familial ties but takes pride in fostering conditions for their team to find, build, strengthen, and expand their individual families.

It’s time to move beyond the rhetoric of family and focus on creating workplaces where individuals thrive, grow, and contribute meaningfully within and outside the organization. ????✨

 

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