People before Profit
I wouldn’t normally write about an update to S.E.C human capital disclosures in the US, but I’m going to make an exception today. This excellent article by Arianna Huffington highlights a very significant change in the way we should think about business, people and profit.
In a report on this new rule, Deloitte point out that the rule puts the spotlight on ‘the dependency of companies on their workforce and gives them an opportunity to demonstrate how investing in human capital management drives value as a result of engagement, innovation, and productivity.”
Put simply, if you invest in your people, your business wins. If you put your people before your profit, the profit will take care of itself. And crucially, if your people feel valued and supported, they will stay longer and become your biggest advocates. Some leaders know that all too well but there is still a staggering number who don’t.
We urgently need companies everywhere to adopt what I would call version 3.0 of a strategy for developing people. In the good old days, we were all sent on courses to help us become better at our jobs. How to win more clients, how to write better presentations and how to craft winning strategies. All of which are perfectly valid. Then the world woke up to the softer skills debate. It’s not just important how you write a presentation but how you present it brilliantly. And so, catchy phrases like the three C’s were born. How we could all become better communicators, more collaborative and develop our creative skills. That became the fashionable thing for leaders to prioritise and pat themselves on the back for when their people were sent off on courses to develop these skills.
At no point in that very potted history of training and development did enough leaders ask themselves these questions. How do my teams feel about working here? How do they feel about going on that training course? Are they mentally well enough to cope with the pressure associated with it? Do they feel secure in their roles? The list is endless but they were questions that were never asked. I’d bet a reasonable amount of money that the seven things that people need (yes, there are seven of them) to truly feel happy and well never came into these leader’s heads.
So, the shift to version 3.0 of a training strategy for every business on the planet has to happen. Those seven needs of wellbeing have to be prioritised, they have to be taught and they have to be at the heart of every business’s DNA. If you know what they are and the difference they can make, that’s a thumbs up from me. If you don’t, give me a call. Because, as we now know, focusing on the wellbeing of your people is the only real way to drive engagement, innovation and productivity.’
A short version of the article is here - Linked In