For this article I was inspired by a Christmas card from a participant to one of my courses of at least four years ago which accidentally dropped out of my notebook, and which I keep, not because it raises my self-righteousness and vanity, but because it reminds me not to give up doing what I really believe in.
The card says: Dear Mirjana, thank you so much for your support. I learned a lot about myself. Everyone needs to think about your initial saying: back to humanity. Your job is very important and you are good at it. Just keep doing it. I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas. Thank you so much, Christine.
In this wintery, rainy, melancholic mood, my warm and powerful enthusiasm beneath this Istrian sky is flickering. I’m lucky, because I’m not alone on this path to share my passion for human development at least to my near surroundings.
in Italy in 2002, When I started my career in human resources development, , and I did not study for that at first, I knew that was – it. My job, my mission. And honestly I did not even really contemplate the wide range of that vocation. I knew that I wanted to teach, that I wanted to deal with psychology, people, development and I started to learn everything within the range of this work. When I was only twenty-five years old, somehow spontaneously and proactively I used to begin every seminar with the introduction: Here we are our dear people, here today we will be dealing with YOU. Regardless of the fact that we are in the business environment and we will surely translate what we will learn and gain awareness about to our business relationships and environments, we will deal with you as the center of everything. Let’s go back to humanity!
People often ask what do I actually do and it’s not clear to everyone here where I come from. So here’s an attempt to materialize the return to humanity in this segment.
We are aware today of the social impact of work on our lives. Starting from how much daytime we invest into business through financial dependency on business, self-realization through business preferences and so on. The fact is that work has become an integral part of life of almost every adult in our society.
Whether we are entrepreneurs, or employed in a company, it is a fact that a very great amount of our lives takes place in these business environments. And for some interesting reason, in our minds, we often separate work and life (you know for example: at work I’m like this, but in life I’m not, or the like). Research shows that unfortunately a smaller number of people are happy / satisfied / fulfilled at work. That many people are doing their work because they “must”, because this and that company for which they are working represents “the lesser evil,” or at least they receive a “safe salary”. And let’s not talk at all about the percentage of people who suffer from the amount of work due to unhealthy relationships with their superiors or colleagues, the general amount of stress, etc. I am not going to go into the theme of motivational factors or some specific topics of human management, I will intentionally remain focused on the title of this text. Unfortunately, people in many business realities have become just workers, employees, executives, means through which revenue is generated or some goals are achieved (and unfortunately these are not always the higher kind).
Human resources are often seen as a replaceable number, sometimes even with an open attitude: if you do not want to work, there is a queue of people who wants this job. But on the other hand, we are observing the ever-growing brain drain, the increasingly poorer labor market, and the increasingly unpopular attitude in young people in some segments such as tourism, production etc. I would not even go into deeper analysis, because even a brief view of the situation in our country is enough to be aware of this reality.
But the key to the exit out of this reality actually exists! Let’s give humanity back to that employee, to the worker! Let’s give them back their uniqueness! We talk about managing human potential, but in companies only a little bit of that potential is really known, analyzed, so seldom time is spent and instruments are applied to direct this potential, to reveal talents, respect diversity, to consider values and motivational factors, to talk constructively and to encourage creativity and real proactivity in business.
Of course, the human resources departments (in companies where they exist, because they often miss out on small and medium enterprises) are rarely solely responsible for the above. They are often too overburdened by the administration and are sucked in paper and processes instead of dealing with people.
But the consequences of not taking into account the above are very negative from countless perspectives. Psychologically, we have burn-outs and various psychosomatic manifestations, self-confidence drops, mechanical execution of tasks that turn men into machines. Socially speaking, we have alienation and overall apathy, criticism and negativity. From the economic point of view, we have a decline in productivity, and humanly speaking, we have unhappy people …
So what to say?! We’ve come a long way from the time when evil tongues wanted to manipulate the psychology of work into simplistic logic: Let me be happy at work – so I will work better and this is better for everyone. I will quote here one very nice statement from a book very dear to me To win by making mistakes written by the Varvelli couple: “97% of people are much better (less stupid) than what you think.” This is what human potential means to me, knowing it and treating human resources as the absolute number 1 factor in doing business. To know and to do what for years all the researches confirm, and that is that the competitive advantage lies far more and deeper in human potential than in any other kind of resources.
Therefore, to get back to the beginning and the question: What do I do? I put the human being (be it through individual or group coaching or experiential trainings) in the center. I allow him/her to stop and jump out from the hamster wheel of everyday life, to take time to think, to realize his/her excellency and what s/he misses. I allow him/her to receive instruments and transferable competences or specific skills, in business that will facilitate relationships, communication, tasks, save valuable time, ensure efficiency while maintaining the inner peace and the balance between private and business segments of life, maintaining consistency with oneself and their own values. This means the return to humanity in my job. Nothing and nobody has ever proven to me that this is not the key to any happy business for all the participants in the game, and many years of experience with feedback from thousands of participants only supported this conviction. Those who will recognize the value of focus on people in their business, will change slowly but surely the direction of the movement of the labor market and the quality of service that cries for improvement. And those who will not … we will probably write about them one day …