Committing to One’s Work

One of my team members asked to meet with me today. He was in a conundrum. He wanted to continue working at our seniors’ home, but he was only working four days per week. Additional hours would help his family financially, so he has been looking for work elsewhere. He has been interviewed at a few places, but none of the positions would actually produce more income. He had agreed to another interview within our own company in southern Alberta, but again, it was for a four-day work week. He was thinking of cancelling the interview and staying put.

He had one foot in the door and one foot outside. Most of us know the feeling.

We talked about making just a five-year commitment, to set some goals for those five years. It isn’t enough just to come to work every day and slog through the job, only to get a paycheck at the end, for which all of the money is already allotted. There has to be a greater purpose.

We talked about creating something that would put the seniors’ home on the map, something that would help distinguish it from all the other seniors’ homes out there. Something that would rally the employees, rally the volunteers, and rally the family members. We talked about the value of a single idea that could incorporate multiple programs. For example, around the theme of world travel, we could have an armchair travel program that would draw the community into our home; we could partner with seniors’ homes in Australia and England and have a pen pal program; we could create a baking program with recipes specific to a particular culture; we could create travel story boards that would be posted around the building. We talked about programs around the themes of art therapy, storytelling, and gardening.

And while we talked, I could see my team member straighten up a little. He began to lean forward at the table. His voice changed. His eyes brightened. He left my office with a thoughtful look on his face.

Later today, he sent me an email. He had spoken with his wife. They are committing to stay in place. There is still important work to do here.

 

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