I was speaking to a friend earlier today who works for a local organization known for the excellent financial compensation of its employees. This company was the face of excellence in its product category. Competitors always following them. Never the other way around. They were quite an operation.
The funny thing is, we were speaking about the way they were. What happened? Well, as with more than a few companies, sometimes success can breed complacency. Competitors catch up, we make some operational mistakes, we lose market share, and before you know it you're faced with having to make some tough decisions. You focus more and more on driving for operational perfection. You drive harder and harder, but get nowhere. You do everything except enact ways to maintain the culture. When the culture erodes from tough times in a company, you find quickly that money is not a sure bet way to hold your best talent or keep the happiness of those who stay.
Michael Rogers, a dynamic speaker on change for business and other business topics, points out 3 things employees need that begin with "R"...
These things must not decline, especially in times when more may be being asked of employees. These are things that denote that you care and appreciate your workforce. Care and appreciation, you'll find, are higher incentives to stay with a company and to work harder when called upon, than monetary incentive.
Leaders have to do so much more than simply remind employees they are fortunate to have a job. They have to do more than ensure they have just the basics to get along and work with. If we want higher productivity, loyalty and happy staff – we have to go the extra mile. The 3 R’s can help.
The company I mentioned at the outset has yet to apply these principles. The morale continues down a bad path. Here's hoping that this once great organization finds its way and recognizes how important culture maintenance is before it's too late.
Keenan McBride, CPTM