People are the CORE of business: TEN SIMPLE TRUTHS

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It is not a mystery that many companies are struggling to get the same financial results they had in the past.  While the lagging economy is a big factor in the decline of profits, so too, is the fact that any time money gets tight in business, executives focus more on cutting expenses and less on people.  Some executives believe that MONEY is the core of business. They say, “We are in business to make money – not make employees happy.” And in their companies, money has more value than people.  What I have found in my career is that even though some companies have hundreds or thousands of employees – a lot of executives don’t really know much about people. And, it is hard to value what you don’t know.

The truth is PEOPLE, more specifically, human beings and their behavior – are the core of business.  Executive leaders and owners have control over all aspects of their companies: products/services, strategy, direction, organizational processes, technology, communication, human capital – and at the core – CULTURE.  Without a solid understanding of humans and their behavior, many executives make business decisions about those aspects which consequently affect their people.  As a result, employees’ behavior then either helps or hinders a wide range of business activities that lead to increased (or decreased) profits.  If companies are to increase profits, leaders need to become more knowledgeable about PEOPLE.

As a talent and organization development professional, I have worked in a variety of industries and sizes of companies interacting with hundreds of employees, managers and executives for twenty plus years.  Regardless of what is going on in the economy or in companies, human beings continue to change and evolve.  As people vented their frustrations to me, I began noting themes in their wishes that someday executives would “GET IT” when it comes to what their people want and need.  They want leaders to know who they are, understand what motivates them, what doesn’t, what they value, what they don’t – and bottom line – why they aren’t performing like they used to, so executives can make different decisions and take actions to change things for the better.

The good news is: both employees and executive leaders ultimately want the same thing. The not-so-good news is: both regularly lose perspective of the other’s point of view.  And, in some cases, they don’t even know each other’s perspective in the first place which creates further disconnect.  My career reflects my deep curiosity and commitment to understanding both sides and my desire to help bridge the gap between them. I believe full-heartedly that everyone can get on the same page – resulting in positive performance and profits.

A heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to the hundreds of frank, caring and insightful employees, managers and executive leaders I have interviewed over the last two decades, as I now share the Ten Simple Truths about People:

  1. People want to do purposeful work
  2. People want their company to succeed
  3. People want Leaders to lead
  4. People want a competent Manager
  5. People want regular and relevant communication
  6. People want to be heard and understood
  7. People want to use their talents in challenging work
  8. People want tools and resources to do their best work
  9. People want to feel valued and appreciated
  10. People want opportunities to learn and grow

In future blogs, I will describe each of these Ten Simple Truths about People in more detail. I hope you will come back and take this enlightening journey with me.

Cindy Goyette, SPHR – Maximizing Human Capital, Inc. 2013

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