“Investing in getting to know our workforce isn’t a business priority.”
A bold statement: one that conjures up all types of images about what this type of organisation looks like or would be like to work for. In short, not ideal. But the reality is, it’s a statement that is still being applied across many industries. Directly, through statements such as the above, or indirectly, through assumptions and generalisations.
Regardless, it is hugely problematic. It implies, as a business, the following mentality:
- “Investing in the future growth and success of our business isn’t a priority.”
- “Leveraging invaluable skills, knowledge and capabilities isn’t a priority.”
- “Unlocking potential, isn’t a priority.”
- “Building harmonious, productive and committed teams, isn’t a priority.”
How long do you think a business can survive with this type of mentality?
If you’re “that business” who needs a perspective shift or guidance on understanding the “why” and “how”, then the following will assist.
Business growth is dependent on it
It’s no secret that engagement is linked to performance and in turn, to the success of a business. While workplaces may go to the effort of boosting general morale and culture – improving the working environment, social events, or upskilling and training – there is a gap. As worthwhile and valuable as these initiatives are, they aren’t specific and inadvertently ignore individual needs and value. This means employees who feel unheard or not understood, are less likely to perform. How: Invest in getting to know individual values and needs through conversation.
Unidentified skills and wasted potential are costly
A goldmine of skills, knowledge and capabilities exist within workplaces that are sometimes overlooked. Usually occurring when employees are in roles that are not suited, or not provided with adequate support or training. Often a result of not identify strengths and weaknesses. Understanding the individual skillset of people allows workplaces to determine strengths, weaknesses and potential managerial gaps. This also contributes to efficiencies and cost-saving. How: Develop consistent and objective methods for evaluating employees to ensure they are in an environment and role that optimises their performance.
Younger gens will demand it
Gone are the days when offering standard benefits like competitive wages, health benefits, pensions, leave/vacation or stock were enough. Younger generations want more and will demand it. Professional development, learning opportunities, coaching, mentorship, and ongoing feedback are critical. Factors that will be the ‘make or break’ between retaining or losing talent. How: Understand the values of younger gens and set up goals that align.
Investing in understanding your workforce should be the biggest investment workplaces make. Irrespective of systems, processes and technology, at the end of the day, it’s the people who are at the core of your business and its success.