This blog series focuses on beliefs and values that shape organisations for better or worse. It is an ongoing work in progress that I will add to from time to time. My hope is that what interests and shapes me personally and professionally may be of interest to others. If something I share resonates for you, I welcome your contributions and feedback.

Employees: Precious resource or cost to the company?

Wendy Talbot PhD – Director

10 December 2019

Blog Entry 10 December 2019 Employees A treasured resource or cost to the company

Values and beliefs have a huge impact on company success and public profile. Take the belief about employee value for example.

Some organisations treat their people as their most precious resource while others see them as the biggest cost to the company. Some say one thing and do another.

Some organisations treat their people as their most precious resource while others see them as the biggest cost to the company

Companies who treat their people as their greatest resource tend to value their people, employ people who subscribe to similar values and actively foster the importance of good relationships, wellbeing, work/life balance, inclusiveness and job satisfaction. The likely effects are that people want to be at work, want to contribute to the greater good of the company, are productive and enthusiastic.

Companies who treat their people as their greatest cost tend to find ways to lessen the number of employees (through restructuring aka ‘consolidation’), extend workloads of remaining employees and focus on cutting costs wherever possible. The likely effects are that people leave, stay because they can’t afford to leave, burn-out, become disillusioned, and are less productive. Trust, commitment and passion can easily turn to mistrust, non-commitment and apathy when people are not valued.

Every day, I witness the effects of these beliefs on people and companies. It’s not hard to work out what end of the spectrum some companies subscribe to. People are either visibly energised or exhausted, enthusiastic or stressed, well or unwell. They talk highly of their organisation or discredit it. Customers are generally satisfied or disgruntled. Staff turnover is low or high. Costs of staff turnover are low or high. There is limited or significant disruption from staff turnover and orientation. Teams are cohesive or divisive. Relationships are effective or ineffective. Health, safety and wellbeing legislation and policies are embraced or merely espoused.

Personally, I believe these beliefs can have serious implications for physical and mental health, addictions, domestic violence and other social issues.
Ironically, treating staff as a precious resource has greater financial and productivity benefits. Click here for one example.

Treating staff as a precious resource has greater financial and productivity benefits

There are many cost-effective ways to value staff and enhance the wellbeing of people and the reputation, productivity and profitability of the organisation. Click Here for a link to one company who attributes its success to its people. In this television interview the team spoke highly of their employer. Company boss Paul Kelly said it’s worth every penny as his staff work hard and are like a family to him. Some have been with the company for more than sixteen years.

However, valuing your people does not need to extend to a trip to Las Vegas. A smile or genuine words of care cost nothing. The options for demonstrating appreciation for people are limitless.

A smile or genuine words of care cost nothing. The options for demonstrating appreciation for people are limitless.

Where do you position your organisation? How do your staff present? What are your customers experiencing? What are your staff turnover stats? How effective are the relationships? How cohesive are your teams?

References
RNZ. (2018, May 7). Checkpoint. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNvIuSmElEI

Spatz, S. (2018, August 17). Why making your employees feel valued is a good business decision. Retrieved from https://medium.com/the-mission/why-making-your-employees-feel-valued-is-a-good-business-decision-d303a02abbd4

Adventurous Conversations Ltd work with organisations to develop values driven, people centred, relational and collaborative culture and relationships. Call, email or book Click here to go to our contact page if we can assist you or your organisation to turn the tide towards more thriving relational organisational culture.

Is your organisational culture thriving or troubled?

 

 

 

 

 

Wendy Talbot PhD – Director

21 October 2017

How do you determine whether your organisational culture is in good shape? Why does this matter? I believe that people create successful organisations. When conditions are created for people to be valued, productive and involved, organisations stand more chance of thriving and succeeding.

Table 1, below, contrasts indicators of troubled organisational culture with indicators of thriving organisational culture. Where do you rate your organisation?

Using the Table individually

The continuum in the middle column provides the spectrum to assess personal or organisational perspectives in relation to each feature? A lower score indicates a closer association with troubled organisations and a higher score is indicative of a closer association with thriving organisational culture. Whatever your role in your organisation you can use the table as a survey to evaluate your perspective on the shape of your organisational culture and consider the fit with your organisation’s vision and values, philosophy and policies, and current practice.

Using the Table as a group exercise

It may be a useful exercise to discuss this in groups if the conditions are such that people are positioned well to share their perspectives safely. Does the outcome indicate a more troubled or thriving position? Is this satisfactory for you personally or for your organisation? Are there areas for refinement and change? Are there similar or different perspectives being expressed? How is this meaningful and what possibilities are evoked?

An important point to note

It is important to note that these features are not presented as complete or definitive lists with discrete, clearly defined lines of difference. The intention is to provide some distinctions to assist organizations and staff to consider their positioning across a range of areas of practice and evaluate this. They are intended to spark discussion and reflection. There are multiple possible places to stand and multiple perspectives and these can be dynamic and context dependent.

Adventurous Conversations Ltd work with organisations to develop values driven, people centred, relational and collaborative culture and relationships. Call, email or book Click here to go to our contact page if we can assist you or your organisation to turn the tide towards more thriving relational organisational culture.

Indicators are drawn from Blog Features of neoliberal and relational organisational approaches. Table 1. Wendy Talbot. Adventurous Conversations Ltd, 21 October 2017 Click here to go to Blog ‘Features of neoliberal and relational organisational approaches’ .

Click here for a PDF version of this post Blog entry 21 October 2017 Indicators of organisational culture

Table 1: Indicators of troubled and thriving organisational culture
Indicators of troubled organisational culture

—-Spectrum—-

Indicators of thriving organisational culture
Excessive stress

1    2   3    4    5

Productive stress
Conflict

1    2   3    4    5

Harmony
Demoralisation

1    2   3    4    5

Morality
Self-blame

1    2   3    4    5

Self-responsibility
Lack of confidence

1    2   3    4    5

Confidence
Poor health

1    2   3    4    5

Good health
Exhaustion

1    2   3    4    5

Energy
Loss of enthusiasm

1    2   3    4    5

Enthusiasm
Resentment

1    2   3    4    5

Appreciation
Despair

1    2   3    4    5

Hope
Minimal contribution

1    2   3    4    5

Maximum contribution
High staff turnover

1    2   3    4    5

Low staff turnover
Lack of commitment

1    2   3    4    5

Maximum Commitment
Secrecy

1    2   3    4    5

Transparency
Isolation

1    2   3    4    5

Connection
Low productivity

1    2   3    4    5

High productivity
Absenteeism

1    2   3    4    5

Attendance
Customer dissatisfaction

1    2   3    4    5

Customer satisfaction
Customer disengagement

1    2   3    4    5

Customer engagement
Apathy

1    2   3    4    5

Passion
Ethical compromise

1    2   3    4    5

Ethical sensitivity
Disempowered

1    2   3    4    5

Empowered

Table developed by Wendy Talbot PhD, October 2017

 

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