Comstock's magazine 0419 - April 2019 - Page 39

For these lonely CEOs and C-suiters, McBride recommends that they seek peers and mentors, both inside and outside the organization. She also suggests philanthropy. “Find a giving outlet that takes you outside of yourself, and provides a service for the greater good,” says McBride. On top of the usual warm- and-fuzzy benefits of giving back, Barrett says this will help the lonely employee develop new social networks, which improves their connectedness “more holistically.” As for how managers should tackle the loneliness of others? Ozcelik and company are still in the early days of developing solutions, but do have some guidance. First: Don’t think the answer is more group lunches or happy hours. “The last thing you want to do to help lonely employees is to organize more social functions,” says Ozcelik. “They’ll feel even more misera- ble.” This goes back to the perception gap Cacioppo discusses, between the connections they think they should have com- pared to what they actually feel. Lonely people will think that everyone is having a great time at the picnic, and they’re not. Another tempting solution: Stick Lonely Bob with Lonely Nancy, so that each of them will now have a friend. This is almost certainly doomed. “If you put two lonely people together, they’re going to hate each other after a few minutes,” cautions Cacioppo. One thing that could actually help, as simplistic as this sounds, is to just be nicer. In the Sacramento workplace ex- “If you’re a smart manager, don’t just say, ‘It’s not my problem, talk to your shrink.’ It’s not a personal problem. It’s a managerial problem.” - Hakan Ozcelik, professor of management, Sacramento State TH Y E A R VERSARY ANNI CONGRATULATIONS ON 25 YEARS OF MAKING OUR COMMUNITY SAFER, BRIGHTER AND MORE CONNECTED! April 2019 | 39