Losing The Human Connection At Work

16159915-pile-of-white-rice-isolated-on-whiteI wondered why people were waiting in line in the “bento” section of my local supermarket.

In a stroke of genius, the management hired a woman in a restaurant uniform to add the rice to each of the bentos.

Instead of the rice being pre-packed, now you could get the rice from a nice woman who would take it from a rice cooker and add it to your dish.

It might have been the same rice as they were using before, but now it had a human touch and a human face.

And now people were waiting in line.

Same for the swimming pool in my gym.  The attendant always personally hands me a bathing cap, and even unfolds it for me as he  or she welcomes me to the pool.

Sure they could just leave all the caps in a box with a sign that says “take one”, but it wouldn’t be the same.

There wouldn’t be any human connection.

I wondered what was wrong in the coffee shop [not Starbucks] that I tried last week.

One person took my order, another took my money, and then my coffee was left on the counter.  It might have been efficient, but it wasn’t personal.

We rave about Amazon’s service, and it is good, efficient-and reliable.   But think about it.  It is inhuman.    For the customers and the people who work there.

amazon-com-logoIf you are an Amazon customer, there is absolutely no way to ever contact the company. And you never ever ever connect with anyone there.As for the people who work there?  They  just pack and ship, never connect.

As a culture, we’re favoring efficiency over the human connection.

Sadly not happily, Amazon is setting the standard as if less human contact is something desirable.

Think about what your company does.  How has the human connection been lost?  What has that done to the customer’s lives, and to the lives of the people who work for your company?

What can you do to re-gain the human connection?

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  1. I couldn’t agree more about this. I think it is a problem with our general lack of time and the comfort of anonymity in this mechanized life. I spent five frustrated hours trying to talk to a human being at Amazon but did not succeed. Yet, at the same time, I also use Amazon’s services because they are so efficient. A paradox if ever there was