I cannot fathom gigantic trees such as the peepul, the banyan and pine growing in tiny pots.
And yet, that is exactly how they are cultivated as bonsai trees. These trees can grow to mighty heights and can shelter entire ecosystems. But their bonsai equivalents have to be tended to with utmost and taken indoors if the weather isn’t just right. A bonsai tree is a one that is endlessly pruned and stunted, to ensure that a mighty tree remains a sapling throughout its life.
Every human being strives for growth and recognition. As employers, we ought to recognize initiative and promise amongst our workforce and give them opportunities to grow. However, there are so many jobs when such initiative is snubbed. They treat people like cogs in an industry, because that way, they are easier to manage, and easier to replace when they are gone.
And there are symptoms of such jobs – employees escalating the smallest of decisions to their managers. Or people working slowly enough to match the fairness with which their jobs treat them. The undertone here is – “this special case, is not part of my job description. I am not paid enough to handle it.” Or “to do just enough”, because any bit of over-achievement would go unnoticed, if it isn’t snubbed.
When this happens, the owners of these systems reach an easy conclusion – that people are inherently lazy, that good people are hard to find and that their workforce is mostly a bunch of thankless people. But the underlying truth here is that people are products of their environment. A broken workforce is a consequence of a broken system.
A company that recognize initiative and merit, will produce a spirited workforce. Whereas one that treats its employees as bonsai trees will ensure that both the employees and the company itself would remain shadows of what they can truly become.