The Fallacy of the Bottom Line

Every organization is in the business of making money. Even not-for-profits need money to exist, and to make money your people are key. Often organizations look at short-term effects on the bottom line and find that cutting staff is a quick way to bring about a financial gain. This is a sure-fire way to negatively affect the level of trust in your organization. It brings out fear in the “survivors,” and has a negative influence on innovation and engagement.  Ironically, senior leaders are almost exclusively judged by the performance of their teams, and when leaders focus on their people the bottom line takes care of itself.  If senior leaders are judged by their ability to produce and sustain winning teams what does it take to create an environment in which your people are your priority?

I believe that organizations succeed when self-aware leaders are people focused, meaning they understand their people are the means to create a productive organization. These leaders are extremely self-aware and see how their behavior effects their people. They realize the need to create an environment in which their people can be their best.  He or she knows that for their people to function optimally they need to understand how their role helps the organization to meet its goals. To build unity within their organization their leaders need to create consistency throughout the organization by creating people-oriented leaders capable of helping their people reach their goals. The best leaders are effective communicators. This means spending a great deal of time listening to understand, not listening to respond. They understand the importance of inspiring confidence in their teams. They know the importance of positive feedback and give praise publicly and coach in private.

Once leaders have become clear on their vision for their organization, they need to develop relationships with their employees and help them understand their role in bringing it to life. A strategic communication plan needs to be developed so the same message is consistently given throughout the organization. The culture needs to be developed in which the employees feel safe to communicate openly and honestly. This will reduce stress as well as give the leader the information he or she needs to make the right business decisions.

When workplace stress is reduced, the health of employees is positively affected. The reduction in stress would have a positive effect on an employee’s mental state which should improve all their relationships at work and at home. I believe there is a ripple effect in which the employees experience a good work environment their home life improves affecting everyone in their circle of influence. Truly a win-win for all.

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