Imagine, for a moment, trying to run your business without any people. You can’t, can you? That is because people are an essential component of any organisation or business. It is impossible to deliver any product or service without involving people. So you have to agree that the attitude of your people to their work must affect the way they work and hence the way your business performs.
A historical imbalance
Yet for the past two decades or more, technology and process improvement have been your primary business focus. You may not have done it consciously, but your people have generally come a poor second in your management priorities. Inevitably, this has not been good for people’s attitudes and so has not been good for business.
Even worse, you justified most of your investment in technology and process improvement by a reduction in employee numbers. This, of course, has compounded the problem. So if the returns on your investment were less than they should have been, you can now see why. To rectify the situation and achieve the returns you originally expected, you have to redress the past imbalance.
The present imperative
Are you suffering from declining growth and/or diminishing returns on your technology and process improvement investment? You can hardly be surprised after more than two decades of investment. You will inevitably be feeling the effects of the law of diminishing returns. Plus, that past investment needs time to bed in for you to consolidate your returns.
So what can you do now to keep growing and improve your returns?
Well, in your shoes, we would be thinking that now was the time to invest in people management. This is the only viable option, as well as being necessary to redress that past imbalance.
And if that isn’t enough, then the high profile discussion raging on the subject of employee engagement should be more than enough to convince you. Not just because your people are important, but because you now also understand better why employees are so disengaged.
Of course it is easy to get caught up in the hot issues of the moment. Perhaps you are uncomfortable with the rather ambiguous, not-easily-quantified nature of employee engagement and you are uncertain of what it really means in practical terms.
Or maybe you are concerned because you have already invested a great deal of time and effort and money in trying to win the hearts and minds of your people, and you feel you don’t have any tangible results to show for your efforts.
But you are not alone.
The surveys that show such high levels of employee disengagement clearly reveal that efforts to engage employees are not proving wildly successful. If anything, the situation seems to be deteriorating. Yet you cannot afford to do nothing.