1. You can’t make everybody happy all the time
While this is technically true. It also misses completely the point. You want people to excel, to give their best on a consistent basis. They will do that, even on the days where they are not so happy. Just as a committed parent will give their best to their child even on the days when they are not so happy. It’s not about happiness but about a company, a team that appreciates and welcomes them with all they have to offer and not just one narrow skill.
2. Creating the kind of company where people thrive is expensive and risky. Only very rich companies can afford it.
Actually, it is much more risky not to create one. The opportunity cost businesses pay in lost productivity and innovation are among the highest risk there are for a sustainable future. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Most of the changes will cost you nothing. Not making them will cost you great amounts of money every day.
Go to the ROI calculator to calculate exactly how much money this problem wastes in your company every year.
3. Dealing with “how the employees feel” is a job for the HR department.
In actual fact, that is the best way to not achieve anything but spend money nevertheless. Unless you only want to pay lip-service, and not convey that you are serious about tackling this problem, don’t give it to the HR department to implement. For reasons I will go into later, you are the only one who can solve this.
4. There is no hard data to demonstrate that companies with excited and engaged people are doing better.
Wrong. There is plenty of research and data to back it up.
Changing the way your employees relate to your company is among the changes with highest return on investment, if you make it right. Here is an interesting statistic from Gallup Research Institute: When companies successfully engage their employees, they experience a 240% boost in performance-related business outcomes, as compared with companies that don’t.
I want to pause here, and say that if you, feel confused and discouraged about that entire topic, I don’t blame you. Between the changes that are happening (fast), and the outdated thinking about these topics – sometimes from the very sources we would expect to show us the way, such as business schools and consultants – and add the persistent myths about how to correct the problem of alienation and disengagement, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed.
This is what most CEO’s feel. They turn their attention to something less confusing, maybe a spreadsheet. They try harder, at whatever they were doing, and get discouraged when their idea (or gimmick from the latest conference) wasn’t working. They rationalize that this what people are, they have always been like this, and they’ll always be like that, period. They watch in profound exhaustion and sometimes despair when some of the best people quit. They stagnate and blame it on the industry, the economy, employees, and everybody else. They hope some of their people will “grow up” one day. I want you to be one of those people who has the courage to choose the more rewarding and – ultimately, the much, much easier – way. You need courage, because doing something new, even thinking some new thoughts, requires courage. I want you to choose.
I want you to dare to create a simpler and more productive work environment for your employees, and to dare to question some of the “wisdom” you take for granted, ideas that are no longer serving you and your company.
There is no turning back on this endeavor. These problems will not be going away, and ignoring them puts your life’s work, your business, in danger. I invite you to, instead, to join the tribe of those who changed the way they thought about management and people – and as a result, they changed the way their employees related to them, felt about work, and achieved results for their company.
Yes, the old times are gone. The new times, if you prepare for them, can be much better for you and everybody involved.
What will it look like when you get there? That is for you to find out, but the next chapter* should give you a glimpse of that destination.
*excerpt from the book: "the CEO's Playbook: turning the employees you have into the dream team you always wanted". find more here