For many years, there has been a stranglehold of the “Profits over People” mentality on business. Senior executives care about revenue dollars, market share, the stock price, bottom-line profits, even their competitors, more than their people. Listening to the sweet cha-ching sound of profits, these bad bosses do not hear their grumbling employees and complaining customers many hierarchical rungs below. Even if bosses could hear, they would wear noise-canceling headphones, oblivious to the employees’ concerns and customer complaints. And “Profits over People” bad bosses would demand “My way or the highway” to the employees. Bad bosses didn’t care much about employees and employees could care less about their bosses or customers.
Today, instead of focusing on “Profits over People”, envision “People First” as the solid foundation for everlasting business success.
Recognizing “People First”, leaders will CARE for their people.
- Leaders will COMMUNICATE transparently any information that their people need to know. They will listen empathetically to the people’s concerns and complaints.
- Leaders will APPRECIATE the important roles and responsibilities of their people.
- Leaders will RECOGNIZE and offer accolades for their people’s individual accomplishments and acts of service to colleagues or customers.
- Leaders will EMPOWER people to make the right decisions for themselves and their business.
One caveat is “Employees First”. Managers will always see people as “employees”. Despite preaching “Employees First”, senior leaders would always have the rank and file employees “first”, on the bottom of the ladder, well below the leaders.
Whether it’s the turmoil of the pandemic, Skimpflation, or The Great Resignation, businesses will invigorate the New Normal with the “People First” culture. No longer are people taking second or third seats to profits or work.
This cultural transformation of “People First” and the leadership commitment to CARE will enthuse and energize people to be engaged with their colleagues, customers, and the business.
When we create a great experience for people as much as we do for customers, we will earn the loyalty of both. And soon, without our focus on profits, the profits will follow.