I’ve written previously concerning why people and organizations struggle to change. When we miss opportunities to do so — we fail to unlock an enormous amount of potential. Organizations also stand to lose talent along the way.
There is one enduring theme that must be acknowledged and added to the conversation. Organizations are made up of human beings. As human beings, we often struggle to let go of old frameworks. Companies dealing with persistent people problems such as low engagement, depleted morale or rising turnover — also struggle to make progress — and there is a clear reason why this is the case.
Let me elaborate.
If there is a single, worrisome story that I observe it is the following:
Company finds great thing. Company begins to rest on its laurels concerning great thing. Company neglects great thing. Company eventually loses great thing. Company begins to decline.
Sadly we are not talking about customers or products — this story is about people. (Please know that I do not view people as “things”.)
We need to grasp that lamenting declining people-centric metrics will not solve people-centric problems. Identifying sub-groups of contributors in the gravest danger of jumping ship — is not the answer. Quantifying the high cost of turnover, is not the answer. (See a great discussion addressing employee engagement here.)
The answer lies in action.
The advice is simple.
Invest in people.
Invest in their experiences (from on-boarding to departure).
Invest in their aspirations.
Invest in conversations.
Invest in their development.
Invest in their managers.
Invest in their observations.
Invest in their ideas.
Invest in their concerns.
Invest in their successes.
In many cases, the most powerful solution is taking that first step.
Start now. Start small. I encourage you do so.
Has your organization recently taken that first (or second) step? Please share your strategies in comments.
Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial & Organizational Psychologist. A charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program, her posts on workplace topics have appeared at The Huffington Post, US News & World Report and The World Economic Forum