Ok, so that’s a little bit of a facetious answer. But it’s also true.

“I love my company! I’m proud to work at my company! My company is so philanthropic! My company really cares about us!”

That’s great, and good for you. But no, the company does none of those things.

I have a lot of conversations with people to help them think things through as they make decisions about their professional life. Through these conversations, which I really appreciate that I am allowed to participate in, themes start to appear. One of them in recent times has been an uptick in awareness that companies do not in fact have a reciprocal loyalty to you and that what you actually value in any workplace is a combination of the people and how they choose to act and operate within that company.

Why is this important enough to spend the time writing this post?

Because once you realize that your loyalty to the company is actually to the people and what those people have done to make the workplace one you are proud to be a part of, then as you make decisions about either moving within or joinng that workplace, what others have to say about it really matters.

And so we come to two specific conversations that have taken place in the last few weeks and how the outcomes these people arrived at have resulted in an environment not being able to attract these two quite incredible and talented individuals to join. Because when they spent time asking around and assessing what the environment was like, what they heard was caution.

  • Caution that the sales pitch didn’t match the daily reality.
  • Caution that the leadership behaviors were not in line with what might be desired.
  • Caution that the effort you put in might not be recognized when it comes to rewards and progression.

You have a choice as leaders on how you want to operate, work with others, behave with others. When you choose to create an environment, think about how it will be seen and what those within might have to say about it. Great leaders understand this and leverage their self awareness to ensure they build something that people desire to be a part of.

If you’re trying to attract people and find that they say no, there’s a good chance that the problem is staring back at you from the mirror. It might take time for the meme to establish and spread, but once it does, undoing the problem and rebuilding is an epic amount of effort.

Ask yourself this: would you recommend your workplace or team and put your personal reputation on the line?

If so, why? If not, why?

I’ll place a small wager that “people and the way they treat others” is one of the reasons, either way.

Be awesome. And nice.