“Recently, I walked into a medical center and was met by an annoying light flickering above the receptionist’s desk. It twitched nonstop, resulting in an intense strobe light effect in the busy waiting room. When I commented about how difficult it must be to work with it, the receptionist responded, “Management just doesn’t care.” I was tempted to stand on a chair myself and take a minute to turn the fluorescent tube off, but realized I’d probably get yelled at for doing so. And I really wanted that appointment.
The next day, when I returned for a follow-up visit, all the lights were off and the receptionist was sitting in the dark. Still able to work, but now with a different problem: she couldn’t easily see people’s paperwork.
While a flickering light may not seem like a huge deal, the employee’s response—and the subsequent solution of not fixing the light but rather turning it off completely—struck me as emblematic of a larger issue. Everyone, everywhere is still struggling to find quality employees. And yet, when they do finally hire good people, they don’t take enough care of them.”