Leverage Your Assets, Love Your People

by | Aug 9, 2022 | Love

We all know about the Great Resignation: People inexplicably leaving their jobs, and companies having to deal with the hemorrhage of employment loss and the challenge of finding replacements.

There’s been no shortage of recommendations to prevent further hemorrhaging: Offer stuff, be flexible on work arrangements, etc. These are all nice and potentially helpful, but they could easily miss the point entirely.

The Great Resignation didn’t happen because of insufficient perks or working inflexibility. It happened because the workforce is fried, overworked and overwhelmed. People are reevaluating how work can give life, instead of suck it away. It’s the 2020’s version of the 1976 film Network: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

People are reevaluating how work can give life, instead of suck it away.

Employers must wisely answer the now front-burner question employees are asking: How does their job improve their lives. My personal conviction is that many companies are ill-prepared to respond to this question. I fear they follow the long-hyped corporate value that says, “Our employees are our greatest asset.”

Ironically, this “value” exposes the issue.

 

And Your Point Is…?

Your employees are not your greatest asset.

An asset is a desk chair or forklift; a new computer.

Assets depreciate. And when they lose their value, you replace them.

Your employees aren’t assets, they’re people.

 

So What?

Many companies operate with this asset-based employment approach, where compensation is provided for expected performance. If that’s all the employer-employee relationship is, it’s just a transaction. It’s not only unsustainable, but also cancerous, ultimately undermining the company’s long-term success.

Assets depreciate. And when they lose their value, you replace them.

While you may or may not view employee well-being as an employer’s responsibility, it is very much an employer’s opportunity. For the foreseeable marketplace future (all things being equal), companies that genuinely care for their employees will sustain and grow. Those that don’t will bleed out their talent.

 If that’s all the employer-employee relationship is, it’s just a transaction. It’s not only unsustainable, but also cancerous

An alternative interpretation is more helpful: We DO certain things BECAUSE we are who we want to be, then we purpose ourselves to live accordingly. This approach is inside-out. It starts with an identity of the person we want to be—even if we’re not perfectly fulfilling it yet. With our identity clearly defined, we then set goals, influence our circumstances and practice behaviors that align with who we want to be.

 

The Big Picture

It’s been suggested that the solution is to treat your employees right. I’ll affirm that and go one step further: Love your people. Respect, shepherd, equip, inspire and challenge them. You still have to get the right people on the bus and get them in the right seat. But in doing so, let your company be a tribe your employees belong to.

Loving your people may sound overly simplistic, intangible and impossible to measure. But consider the impact of your employees feeling like assets instead of what they are: people.

Let your company be a tribe your employees belong to.

 

Your Next Step

What will you do to set your company’s culture apart from your competition?

 

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