what we lose out on when we assume people are going to stay at our organization forever17 Apr 2019
preface: this is the first thing i’ve written publicly since turning 30! anyways…
so i guess i’ve been working for over a decade now. and a pattern i’ve noticed in (our nonprofit) organizations is that people basically assume that every hire is going to be forever. the signs of this, in my mind, include but are not limited to:
- interviewers only asking about applicant’s life vision(s) as they relate to the position in question
- never asking hires what their expected tenure is at the organization
- limited or non-existent structure for recurring individual and collective conversations about expected tenure at the organization
- minimal if any support or pre-defined processes for people to transition out of their role. this looks like every person having to create their own exit plan while still working their job and everything ending up a mess anyways
- hugely expressed grief and sadness as someone announces they’re moving on
the more i see this pattern, the more i think it’s hurting our organizations. by assuming people will be at our organizations forever, we ignore a fundamental fact of life: change is constant.
i write about this not because i’m interested in harping on the brokenness of our organizations, but because i think there’s a ton we’re missing out on! examples:
- multi-organizational organizing strategy
- resource sharing between orgs that, on the surface, don’t do similar or even related work
- network weaving
there’s a lot more but i’m running out time for this post today!
what i want to say is this: what if, upon graduating high school, we (as a “sector”) could point high schoolers to any number of organizations for their first job and then they knew they would have support to think about their next job from the first day? what if we helped each other map out our economic resource arcs in alignment with which organizations have financial situations that match an individual’s vision for their life? what if, instead of our organizations competiting for good candidates, we strategized across issue areas to give each other multi-issue career experiences at 5 organizations over the course of 10 years?
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