Belonging Culture Purpose

The truth about work

What worked in the past will not work anymore in the future. The characteristics of the transaction have changed.

Many things in life are a transaction.

When you buy your coffee in the morning, get gas for your car, work out at a gym, or pay for a subscription to read your favorite newspaper online.

For many people, work is also a transaction. They’ve agreed to do a specific job for you, and you pay them for the job done.

I can hear some of you sputter right now, wanting to challenge me that work is more than a transaction in your company or your team.

People have bought into your dream to grow the company to something more than just a place where they do their work.

So you don’t believe I’m right?

Well, just stop paying them and see what happens. Will they still want to work for you? Is what they get from you and your company beyond money on their bank account enough to keep them around?

Maybe for a while, but not for a long time. In the end, we need to feed our families as well.

It’s true that I’ve agreed to jobs and projects for less pay because I believed in the purpose of the company or the project.

I’ve also asked for higher fees, just because I knew the company was primarily after my expertise and would not want me around after the value was delivered.

It’s every time a negotiation. Either with the person sitting across the table from you or with yourself.

How much is this specific experience I’m getting worth to me?

How much I’m willing to give for what I get in return?

How much longer will I stick around?

It works the same way in relationships, by the way.

Yes, hopefully, the love or friendship you have built is large enough to keep the relationship going.

But in the end, it’s also a transaction, like any other. It sounds sterile and very black and white, but it is.

How much are you willing to give for what you get.
Let’s reverse that. How much do you get for what you’re giving? Same meaning, subtle difference.

Where do we start?

Are you willing to give more for what you get? Or do you believe you’re entitled to get more?

The recent events, COVID, and now the war in Ukraine have made many people realize they’re looking for something more or different.

They got, in some cases, brutally confronted with the fact that the transaction was not sufficient for what they believed in.

COVID made people realize there’s more than just spending time in the office.

Work can be done differently.

The war made people realize that what we believe in, our values, and our dreams, sometimes are being challenged and need to be defended. In this case, literally.

In both cases, the transaction was not sufficient anymore. Priorities changed, and people started quitting their job.

Sometimes voluntarily, sometimes forced by the circumstances.

In work circles, it is called the great resignation. Power to the people.

Where we feel we belong has changed.

That’s why employers leaders need to focus on creating, or increasing, a sense of belonging at the workplace.

What worked in the past will not work anymore in the future. The characteristics of the transaction have changed.

It’s not about work or the office anymore; it’s about belonging.

People expect a culture where community, true teamwork, and a heightened sense of belonging at work are a priority.

I call it the great retention.

Your turn: how much are you willing to invest in a culture of belonging?

Do more of what makes you happy!


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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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