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Wants vs. needs in the workplace

We spend our lives pursuing happiness.

Much of the news this holiday season is how to survive …and thrive…without spending a great deal of money. For some, that’s a new concept. For others, it’s a return to former experiences, perhaps in childhood or the college years.

It forces us to think about wants vs. needs. It makes us talk to one another.

Do we all need…
the latest computer, a laptop and a desktop, two screens, every computer program imaginable, a fancy company cell phone? Does that play to our strengths or just make us feel inadequate that we can’t do 10 different roles well? Does it contribute to a dilemma of trying to prioritize what part of our job is most critical? Do we really know how our work fits into the big overall work of the organization?

Do we constantly need the latest training that somehow will make everything right and more efficient in the workplace? If only we had this new database, this new process, this new position---we could be more efficient, produce more.

The recession may just force collaboration and open discussions.
The economic recession is not a bad thing if it forces serious conversations instead of rushing out to purchase, to create a new position, to develop a new program. How can we live well with what we have? How can we redefine positions? Of all that training we’ve had, what makes sense to implement? Are there gaps we can fill with what we have?

It takes civility to respect one another and engage in some very open conversations that begin with facts available to all. It’s time for brainstorming, examining how what we know will help, examining where each person’s passion and strengths lie. The successful in this recession will develop better, more respectful working relationships.

It takes a vision that everyone can see.
When we don’t understand how some training applies to our jobs, how some position fits, how some equipment can be used—that’s a waste of resources due to a lack of communication.

Often if we get our wants, we are unhappier than if we had only what we needed. People are resourceful and creative if they’re included in the conversations of determining goals and solutions. When we focus on the needs of everyone, have big open conversations and do the very best we can, we’ll probably find happiness. It works in our personal lives and in our work lives.


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