There’s a lot of freakout happening right now in the business world. Between a lumbering, staggering economy, businesses getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar (Starbucks UK is getting a bit of press, but they aren’t alone), and new regulations and laws (Obamacare, anyone?) it feels like myopically short-sighted decisions are becoming a leadership trend.
Blame the economy, government, competition, etc. for poor business results and force employees to bear the brunt of it. Freeze wages, cut benefits, pare staffing to the minimum and then trim it a bit more. View all employees and all positions as having the same interchangeable value. Treat the cost of employees as an offensive, if necessary, evil. Assume that changing variables on the spreadsheet will not affect any other variable (cutting wages couldn’t affect profit via poor customer service or heavy turnover, could it?)
It’s a complicated world and I don’t pretend to have solutions. I do have one question though:
What happens to your business when you don’t take care of the people who take care of your business?
Great question and one not asked often enough. Companies that put their employees in the asset column, not the “this is costing us money” column, create a culture of respect and value that is then felt and shared with the external customers.