Friends, family, and neighbors are among the many that have lost their jobs in what has been a painful year for our country. Living in Orlando, Florida which is so known for tourism and hospitality, I see the count increasing locally as it does nationally. And, heartbreakingly, it keeps growing: over 20 million jobs were lost in April alone.
What have they lost? So much more than a paycheck. Work is soil for our own flourishing and the flourishing of others.
On a recent call with a prominent RIA in the impact investing space, one advisor said that of the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors, “The G should come first because it’s the most important. When the G is very sound, the other letters follow.” As it relates to work, it reminded me of the late Clayton Christensen’s article where he says he had concluded good management is the most noble profession. “No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team.”
I often take for granted the great blessing provided in the form of employment, failing to realize how a healthy work environment affects my wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of my family, and forgetting the hidden ways that vocation weaves my life into the lives of others through relationship with my team, relationships with people in other organizations, and the fabric of society as a whole.
Seeing more clearly now the gift that a good job is in light of the pandemic, let this be a reminder that one lens through which we ought to consider a company is by their merits as an employer, understanding the butterfly effect of good management and the tremendous impact that a well run business makes in the community and in the marketplace. Every investment makes an impact. Especially now, advisors and investors can choose to influence the shape the post-pandemic world takes. After all, when you invest, you’re investing in an entire ecosystem. You’re investing in people.