People Over Profits
Let’s be clear on this point: the bottom line matters. Business leaders have to think about profit and figure out a way to make more than they spend, but putting people over profit could turn out to be what matters most.
The good news is you don’t have to choose between people and profit. Successful businesses are built with satisfied employees. Here’s why.
Profit-First Has Short-Term Benefits
If you cut employees, benefits, and the little touches that make an office pleasant, you may see a boost in profits. For a little while.
But, when this method is used frequently, it creates fear and employees are less likely to be loyal. They see coworkers losing jobs and they start looking around for alternative jobs just in case. Who can blame them?
Ultimately, cutting employees and paying low wages won’t lead to success. It doesn’t create value or innovation.
In The Long Run, People-First Wins Out
It turns out, employees are your greatest asset. They innovate and build relationships with your customers. When you lose an employee, you also lose the relationships they’ve developed.
Employees who are treated well have a greater buy-in and more motivation. Satisfied employees correlate to better stock performance in large companies. In any company, employers who provide decent working conditions see higher productivity from their employees.
And, providing ‘decent working conditions’ may be more simple than you think.
What ‘Valuing People’ Looks Like
So often, business policy is created for the view employees who will take advantage of the system. Employers worry if they offer flexibility, some will abuse the privilege. So, they have strict and extensive policies to keep those people in line.
A change in mindset may help company leadership think about how they create policy. Valuing people doesn’t mean allowing people to take advantage of you. It means designing the workplace so your employees can do their work well. It’s providing them with the necessary tools and acknowledging they have a life outside of work that may occasionally impact their work.
This will look different depending on the business. It may involve the flexibility to work from home, or holding jobs when people get sick or need to care for family.
Talk to employees and find out what is hindering them from doing their best. Let them offer ideas for how to improve the workplace. When they know they’re being heard and their thoughts are valued, they will be increasingly motivated to stay at their jobs and do their best work.