There seems to be THE great excuse.

When I ask HR folks if they feel the employees at their company are happy, I often don’t get a direct answer.

And the answer I get is this – Well there’s always that one employee who will never be happy no matter what you do.

And then there’s a chuckle.  And if I’m with a group of HR folks there is the nod of agreement, understanding and compassion.  And then that’s it.  The conversation moves on.

How is this possible?  How is it that the people who are most in charge of employee satisfaction and employee engagement run for cover under the umbrella of the one “never-can-be happy” employee.

Perhaps they are asked to focus on that ONE unsatisfied employee.  “Fix” that employee.  “Solve” that employee problem.  “Make” that employee happy.  A task that feels impossible.  And very well may be.

Perhaps as people people it kills them to have one of their flock not be happy.  That it reflects badly on them and that no matter how hard they try, they will never have true success because of this ONE employee.  Kind of like the fly in your soup.

So imagine removing the fly from the soup.  Or focusing on everyone else – all those employees who are capable of being happy.  Who want to be happy.  Who perhaps are happy if you would just move your beeline focus from the “never-can-be happy” one.

No more excuses.  Move on and focus your energies where they can and do make a difference.

And next time I ask the question of “Do you think your employees feel good about coming to work?”  I want a direct answer.