So, I was at the SouthBank centre last night attending a talk by one of my favourite writers, Alain De Botton. I've read all his books since one of my good friends bought me the book Status Anxiety a number of years ago for my birthday (take from that, what you will....).
The genius of Alain is his ability to articulate and make simple the biggest challenges and issues we face in life, be that love, success, friendship etc. He makes philosophy accessible to the masses.
He noted that if you were to look to art - be that TV, movies, books etc there is very little coverage of our real working lives - something that takes up a huge amount of our time.
It would seem in movies and TV that everyone works in three professions - Medicine, Law and Criminality and spend most of their waking lives, falling in and out of love etc.
Where is the movie on the world of recruitment advertising I ask?
He said a few interesting things from a recruitment and employer branding perspective. He explained how he had spent a number of months with the HR department of the UK's largest Accountancy firm (whose HQ's are by the Thames..).
He was suprised that there was a whole floor of these HR bods, all working on initiatives and processes for their staff. However, he began to see the important role that HR played, as when you think about it, there were over 15,000 people in this organisation - all of whom, had to get on with each other as much as possible to ensure maximum productivity and ensure success.
Unlike in love when if you p*ss each other off you can 'throw the crockery' at each other, this really isn't possible in the working environment.....pity.
What this example did reveal for me, is that a company's culture and values should really promote openess and straight-talking to alleviate stress, upset and miscommunications etc.
The other interesting thing he noted is that there is a universal desire in all people to have a 'meaningful' job- this is what makes them happy and fulfilled.
This doesn't have to be through saving a persons life in a hospital - this can be making a difference in peoples lives through; fixing their squeaky door, booking them a holiday or producing beautiful photgraphs that make people happy etc
If a company can show employees what they do is something 'meaningful' - then jobs a winner, as they say.