POINT TO PONDER: "It's just business, nothing personal" Mario Puzo (The Godfather 1972)
STORYLINE: Once upon a time (but as it happens many other times too) a friend of mine got laid off from a company he had worked for 30 years. For his dedicated service, he was granted an hour to pack up his belongings, say some rapid good byes and leave the company premises. He was technically sound and had served the company well during his time. Many people were surprised.
As soon as he left the company premises he called me. He was greatful to the company and still showed an unwavering loyalty but felt hurt at how he was treated at the end. Even today, many years later, he still loves that company and wonders about why breaking up was so hard.
He, like many others of that generation, believed in fierce loyalty and a kind of unconditional love for their employers. But in my 40 year career, I had observed and learned very early on that there is nothing such as unconditional love when it comes to businesses/employers. The relationships are based on need and value. It does not matter how capable, talented and dedicated one is; if the business has no use for one's talents or does not see value for their current needs, then one quickly becomes obsolete and a "disposable asset". No matter how much their ancillary departments ("I am here to help You" ones) talk or brag about their "people orientation" or caring for people/planet/etc-the bottom line is what must be in line with the best interest of the business. Everything else is secondary and only in the context of main business goals.
Very early one in my career, I had decided that I am not working for anyone day in my life. Any relationship I had with so called "employers" or "companies" were business relationships and were treated as such. They were paying me in exchange for certain services. My obligation was to treat them as customers of my business and deliver an "incredibly" high value. If they were delighted and also if I could continue to offer them things that they needed, I had more business with them. I needed to be on constant alert to look for new opportunities to provide value to, while at the same time keeping an eye on other possibilities in the external world by keeping up with new trends and relationships. This approach helped me in growing my business and also in having peace of mind because I did not feel any business relationship owed me anything further than what was in the terms of the current expectations/contracts.
So on this Valentine's week, my answer to "Does My Company Love Me? is... "Conditionally and as long as they have use for my talents." Beyond that it's all business, nothing personal. Don't let any posters, proclamations or ancillary departments' people fool you by telling otherwise.