Do you think it is possible for organizations to have a balance on valuing both people and results?
Our research shows that organizations are better at focusing on accomplishing results than valuing people. Do you think it is possible for organizations to have a balance on both people and results?
I do believe so in fact it is the very idea behind conscious organizations or benefit corporations. I think though for most organizations it requires altering the metrics by which they judge the success of the organization. We are seeing industries that don't value their employees, and they now have a huge talent gap such as in the areas of aerospace industry. no organization can ever go from good to great without great people and recognizing and valuing their people.
Some excellent discourse and answers from varying points of view. Truly, much depends on the culture of the organizaton, the values and beliefs of those who work with it and mostly the overall objectives.
It's a long post...mine seem to always be. There's just so much to say. And at the end, I still fill like I had to leave out so much!
My mentor John Maxwell says it best, "Leadership is influence. Nothing more. Nothing less. Everything rises and falls on leadership (influence)."
You may be familiar with John Maxwell's book, The 5 Levels of Leadership. If not, I would highly recommend adding it to your reading list. It's the best at explaining how leadership/influence is increased which leads to higher productivity. I'll give a snapshot below in case you haven't read it. I'll also blend what I've learned along the way, so you may not find it all in the book.
The levels are like a multi-layered foundation. You must master one and grow your way into the other. John has an assessment in the front and states that 8 of 10 items must be mastered before you are considered at that level. For instance, I could get 8 of 10 at Level 3 but only 3 of 10 at Level 1. Therefore, I'm leading with sub-level one influence, not matter my results.
Level 1 is "position." At this level, the leader has been given the "rights" to lead. People follow only because they "have" to.
Level 2 is "permission." At this level, the leader has developed a "relationship" on top of his position. People follow at this level because they "want" to. Note: when you don't have a position, authority, or the rights to lead. You have develop yourself as a L2 leader, or you won't have any influence with anyone. Most that develop themselves at L2 without a formal position are usually offered one.
For a leader to move from L1 to L2, they must focus entirely on their own character development.
Moving from Level 1 to Level 2 begins with a leader's intent. Are they motivating (servant leaders/ mutual benefit) or manipulating (self-serving leaders/ only concerned with their benefit). If the leader's intent is motivation, they work on build the trust that will allow them to develop the relationship. John Maxwell often references a research study (from Stanford I think) that revealed a 40% increase in productivity when someone follows a leader because they want to compared with following because they have to.
Level 3 is "Production." At this level, the leader is getting "results" with and through other people. People follow at this level because of what the leader has done for them and the organization.
For a leader to grow from L2 to L3, (I'm assuming they have mastered L2), they must now work on developing their competency in order to lead those that "want" to follow in a manner that will achieve "results" for the organization.
Level 4 is "People Development." At this level, the leader is "reproducing" other Level 2 & Level 3 leaders. People follow because of what the leader has done for them personally.
John says, "Only about 10% of true L3 leaders make it to L4." The focus has to shift from getting results for themselves with their team, to helping others get results. Climbing to the top of the mountain (L3) is not enough for L4 leaders. They have a strong desire to go back down and bring others to the top with them. At this level, it's all about the people. These leaders know their success depends on the success of those around them.
Level 5 is the "Pinnacle." At this level, the leader has developed "respect" across multiple industries and generations. People follow because of "who they are" and "what they represent." They have done it for so long, for so many.
John says, "Only 1% of people are capable of becoming true L5 leaders. Those that are born with the naturally ability to lead and influence people." These leaders will still have to do all of the work at the lower levels in order to achieve L5, but they have what the other 99% that don't have natural leadership ability will never have, a head start. But, they will never get to L5 if they choose to not run the race and not do the work of growing and developing themselves. Many will spend a lifetime stuck at L1 although they have the ability to grow to L5.
Hope this helps illustrate how leadership/influence is developed.
Well, of course to know which people we should value and ones we should just lego, a good criteria is necessary for doing so. We must also decide on a threshold wherein the lack of results is acceptable. The balance between valuing people and results is a very opinionated matter but chieve the golden line between the two and you just may have a company that is very competitive without having a pressure cooker culture.
We have performance based pay because of this matter. Of course seeing your peers getting additional pay because of results will further push them work even harder.
A company will never be successful if it doesn't value its employees. Thats why creating a dynamic, functional yet stress free culture is very important. While having an iron fist and knowing when to call it quits is very important. Sometimes it's more helpful and beneficial if we unclench that fist and turn it into a simple pat.
Sorry, but for me there can only be one answer.
I value my people more than anything. They know that. I constantly help them continue to study in their field of expertise, to push themselves constantly, and I reward them for outstanding work.
That GIVES me a great team, which in term produces the best results.
I would HATE to have a team depressed, under pressure, just because of a results based mentality. The whole "To hell with your personal feelings, make me money" just isn't my thing.
Value people, give them the tools they need to succeed and empower them to act and the results will likely follow.
If you do all that and results are still not there, then there is something else wrong and a deeper look at the business model will be required. It may be time to pivot.
But if you are positioned right and take the above steps. Results will follow.
I think the intention is always there from the company wanting to value their employees but this never does evolve. When a company does value their employees they will see the positive results which usually brings about a better output and loyalty to the company. Its a mutual benefit for both employee and employer. I do always hope that companies will bring this value to the forefront when dealing with all aspects of the company evolving and growing, because its something that can rarely happen alone without those employees.
I think that the idea of balance may mislead us into thinking that there should be just a certain amount of one, and an equal amount of the other. Actually, it is one that helps produce the other. So if we want to be more effective, we should be trying to maximize engagement.
They are two different focuses, one has more to do with leadership and the other good management skills. Both ought to be stressed and maximized.
Effectiveness is a result of engagement, and investing in engagement doesn't take away from effectiveness, but adds to it.
Leanne, as to your question about doing both, when managers realize that engagement (good leadership skills) is actually the fastest, most sustainable way to bring about great results, and they were were rewarded for those results somehow, they would very rapidly find or develop ways to to be experts at using engagement as their favorite tool. The problem is that we're not quite there yet, in understanding the very direct relationship between engagement and organizational effectiveness, and creating engagement as a natural part of ones leadership style, rather than as a specific set of tasks, like recognition and participation.
Organizations that have large percentages of their population who rate themselves as highly engaged outperform less engaged competitors in every key performance indicator and by significant margins.
The key is hiring people who share your goals and creating alignment to results...
People tend to be motivated to accomplish results, so a focus just on people may not lead to results. However if the results do not lead to personal satisfaction for the individual, it doesn't mater what results are, people may not want to push for them, or may not give their all to reach them.
There needs to be a blend of pushing for results and making sure that the results being pushed for also enhance the individuals attempting to reach them. When this happens there is a win win.
Yes and no. this is a thin line. you need to treat your people right and all the same. Also promote those that bust there butts. You keep your staff happy and motivated you will have greatness. Just don't cross the line and make them a friend.
Leanne, You ask a great question.
Yes companies should be more valuing of it's own people, so often they say they are, they even put it into their value statement, But sadly what the say, and what they actually do are not the same.
For many of them it is easier to adjust head count, then it is to change policy, or process. Which in turn only puts additional pressure on the people who are left, When that happens other things are simply not done or are done in a rush.
As Ben stated yesterday, It is the people who accomplish the results.
It also costs the company much more to train someone up to take over additional tasks.
The other downfall for companies is workers loyalty. This has just about become a thing of the past. How can companies expect their staff to be loyal, when the company is not.
The companies that are, and they respect and show consideration and respect, receive it back some would say 10 fold.
It's not so hard to companies, and management, all the have to do is show some interest in what their people are doing, provide some time to listen and to work with them, this may mean a little bit of flexibility, however the rewards and payback is well worth it. And it has not cost you a cent in increase remuneration.
I believe it boils down to having engaged employees. Engaged employees will be creative, will think out of the box and will feel like their contributions are valued. If a company is looking to improve upon past successes MUST spotlight their staff. Companies preach LEADERSHIP, TRAINING and MENTORING. Now they must put it into action.
I agree with Ben too! Employees including shareholders are people who makes up the entire business. Providing values to these people by practicing unbiased procedures and systems ranging from providing facilities to rewards and for even tackling grapevine or grievances for any matter in a just way, will enhance and maintain productivity of the business. In other words, keep things transparent with high quality in all areas of business and make this culture be understood and accepted by all shareholders who wants long term business relationships with your organization.
Yes, balancing worker happiness with business results is possible. Can it be done without working on it? No. Is it always desirable? No. It very much depends on the type of company you are how much you need the people to be happy. In a strongly hierarchical company with clearly defined and optimised processes (eg a paperclip factory) this is not necessary. Especially if the work force is out there and easily replaced, in which case it becomes expensive and bad for business value. If, however, you are constantly innovating and the people need to be flexible (eg. building flying cars), you will need to invest heavily in the people to achieve business value.
Yes. The real question is "why aren't more businesses changing the way work gets done" knowing the people are their best asset for getting better results. We maintain machinery better than we do people.
There is a huge gap between what we know and what we do. The latest neuroscience is demonstrating the importance of allowing the human brain to be at its best. I particularly like Matt Lieberman's work in Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNhk3owF7RQ. The engagement scores you posted are another indicator of the rocky ground businesses are operating on by not paying attention to their most important assets.
It is a "must" if the company is to have any chance of being the best it can be. ALWAYS acknowledging that business is done between people - not companies, has provided me with unprecedented results wherever I have gone.
Great infographic Leanne! I appreciate and admire the work you are doing to measure engagement.
The "soul" of the company and it's employees shouldn't be sacrificed, and it doesn't need to be. That's called a "limiting belief" ... the idea that it has to be one or the other. As leaders we need to be creative and look for the "win-win."
I think this is self explanatory, too often business gets it wrong looking at metrics and figures. For a business to thrive there must be willingness among its people to work towards the aims of that company. We cannot separate the effect our business has on the wider community, and on the people working within it. Business is all about people, not intangible concepts, those businesses that do well for the longest time are always the ones that instill affection and good will.