Frankly, I am not sure what is worse for an organization, especially a healthcare organization: a disengaged employee or a disengaged employer.
Both are accountable for each other's circumstance. And if I was a betting man, I would bet that it is very difficult (perhaps impossible), in aggregate to say in which direction the disengagement came/comes from. It doesn't really matter who was the chicken or the egg. What matters is what it creates--individual and organizational suffering.
Now, this notion of organizational suffering is not often talked about. As a disengaged employee, why would one care about an organization suffering? In fact, if it is not our company (one we work for) or one we do business with, why would the notion of organizational suffering matter?
Individual suffering is a different story. When we can "see" suffering, our feeling is visceral and it summons our compassion which is expressed as an energetic acknowledgement of our connection to the other we are observing. Or, as we have seen in the outreach that many Americans have made in response to Haiti, our compassion is expressed with a financial sacrifice at what ever level one is able or willing to contribute. This is good.
On the other hand, there is the suffering that perhaps is much more prevalent in organizations and in individuals. It is hidden suffering. It is blight of commitment, willingness, creativity, desire to be with "the other". It is perhaps the opposite of compassion as it can take even one's individual desire to contribute to self away.
A few months ago before I moved to Cambridge, I was talking to a few of my friends and colleagues and I kept hearing a common theme when I asked some of them about their work: "Amri, I am just trying to stay under the radar." They often said this with a bit of an uncomfortable look on their faces as if they were under surveillance and were scared to speak too loudly.
I can't say that I know exactly whether or not they were joking or were in part or totally serious. What I can say is that the idea of "staying under the radar" is a suffering idea. It is, joking or not, the idea that you are being targeted and have to assure that the radar cannot detect you. It is not just a suffering idea for an individual, it is as such equally to the organizations that these folks work for as they are getting, at the most, half-rate production and contribution.
Just imagine yourself as an employer being able to secretly know all of your "staying under the radar" people and when you walked through the seas of cubicles and past offices you saw 20-30% or more of your people appearing as though they are ducked under their desks working in the darkest part of their workspace. The idea of it is hilarious and utterly depressing at the same time. If I saw this, it would cause me to suffer and it would cause me to act.
This conversation is two-sided and employees with the sentiment to disengage have to be as responsible as their employers have to be in making sure they stay engaged. Thing is, not everyone always knows that disengagement is taking place. That is another conversation that we have to have in the near future.
It pays to know that all suffering experienced is shared and the responsibility to transcend it is shared, too.
Make it a great day!