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...