This week I want to write specifically to those of you that have leadership and/or management positions in your organization. And if you’re reading this and that’s not the case for you, read on anyway as I promise you’ll get value for yourself anyway. Or, you might know someone in a leadership or management position that you might want to forward this post to.
Given the statistics I quoted last week from the latest Gallup poll, that 7 out of 10 American workers are either “checked out” or “actively disengaged,” there’s a high degree of probability some of those people work for you. So the big question is: what are you willing to do about it? There have been a number of things that have occurred this week that brings this question to the surface.
First, I just today did a half day workshop for all of the employees of a relatively small manufacturing company. There are only about 20 people in the company and the owner shut the place down for a morning, took all of the employees to a local hotel where we conducted a workshop on the art of being related. We talked about how to be a really effective listener, so the people in your life feel acknowledged, appreciated, heard and understood, and how to communicate upsets and disappointments to others in a way that resolves issues and avoids conflicts.
The owner of the company made several observations worth noting. First, he said that he was willing to do this because he wants his employees to be happy working for him. Not a bad idea when you realize that happy workers produce at a much higher level than unhappy ones. And he further said: “I spend so much money taking care of the machines that produce the products we sell, it’s crazy not to spend the same or more on the people who run those machines!”
Now that kind of logic really appeals to me. And, of course, he’s reaping the benefits of his investment in that his company continues to grow at a 25+% annual rate. So it’s hard to understand why this kind of logic appeals to so few. My wife is doing a really terrific workshop in about a month that would greatly benefit anyone in a company, whether in a leadership position or not, and she’s having a hard time getting anyone to come. It’s on a Wednesday and most people say: I have to work that day or I can’t get the time off. It’s almost tragic to me that people don’t understand the value of investing in themselves and investing in their employees.
It’s almost like the opposite is true. I read in the newspaper all the time about companies laying off hundreds and thousands of employees like it’s no big deal to do that. Yes, I understand that companies have to make money, but maybe if companies were more willing to invest in their employees, they could produce greater results which would eliminate or at least minimize the need to lay people off.
In conclusion, and again addressing those of you that are leaders and/or manages, the stark reality is your greatest assets go home at night and come to work the next morning. Statistics show that every dollar spent training and educating those assets reaps a return greater than $5. You just have to bite the bullet and try what I’m saying and I’m sure you’ll see the results. We have some terrific programs for you to start with so let us know if we can help.