The industrial system demands that we fit in, follow instructions, do as we are told, and be safe.
But at the same time, we want to be treated as individuals, unique and special.
We want to be seen, we want to be understood, we want to be treated with respect and dignity but the system says you are paid for a service, therefore do your job.
We really don’t care much about fitting in.
We want to be served but the system says we pay you lots of money for you to serve us, so get going. We fit in because we are told they pay us to fit in not to be special.
Our salaries are used as a tool to make us to fit in, to follow instructions.
One of the ingredients of the mass production system as pioneered by Henry Ford is three things:
- Standardised production process [the process needs to be same];
- Standardised spare parts [are crucial in case the system breaks, it can be fixed quickly]; and
- Standardised employees [people of the same skills, doing the same things].
The system wants standardized employees because if John doesn’t show up for work on Monday because of hang over, Mary can come in short notice and replace John.
It is important to fit in, so that it is easier to replace you.
So here is paradox:
The system wants us to fit in but we want to be treated special.
The system expects us to follow instructions and be like every employee but we ask ourselves why fit when were were born to stand out?
The system expects us to behave like everyone but our mentor said we must be ourselves, everyone is already taken.
Sawubona means I see you, not just I see you standing here in front of me, but I see you, where you come from, what you want, what you need, what is troubling you, I see you, welcome.
This is what we crave for as a customer, as an employee, as a family member, to be seen.
You want your staff to fit in and behave like a typical staff does, but your staff wants you to treat them uniquely and specially.
People don’t want to be treated as average employees who fit in.
When it comes to people, average is an illusion.
People have a right to be seen, to develop into who they want to be, not what society or the company expects them to be.
Treat your people as special snowflakes.