There is some joy in the workplace for sure. Members tell me how proud they are of completing a special project. Like we see in other career research, members say to me they like feelings of autonomy and mastery. They report good feelings while creating, collaborating, and checking items off of their to-do lists.
Often members use other adjectives about their everyday work lives too. Many characterize their current job or assignment as:
- boring and lonely, or
- anxiety-producing, frantic, but lonely
It is lonely sitting in the cafeteria alone at lunch so they eat at their desks, which is lonely too. Many professionals are working from home, which is great in many ways, but, can be lonely. Being the only one like you in your organization is lonely. “It is lonely at the top”, is not just a saying, it is true. For everyone from coordinators to CEOs, work can be lonely.
Loneliness is not necessarily about being alone. Many of us can be happy alone. It is easier to get into the zone alone. Lots of work gets done while we are alone. Instead, loneliness is about being friendless. We want to belong, we want to be liked and trusted, but so many workplace experiences leave us feeling just the opposite.
I don’t have the data, but my guess is workplace loneliness is on the rise. More professionals are feeling more lonely, more often, we are just not talking about it.
Associations, it would seem, are the perfect antidote for workplace loneliness. We can warmly greet new members and connect them with others like them. We can pair first time attendees with buddies and do other things to help ensure they meet a friend or two along the way. We can help chapter leadership set the stage for a friendly and helpful chapter culture.
There are so many dimensions to member engagement so as you are thinking about how to engage your members, also think about fighting workplace loneliness too.
Most popular post last month: The CEO’s Behavior Dictates How Innovative the Association Will Be.