I have talked to many employees lately about what is going on within the walls of companies. And the feedback is not encouraging. Many feel overwhelmed, fearful, and disengaged. My prediction is that, for companies who are not paying attention to their employees, when the economy does turn, there will be a fruit basket turnover as employees jump ship for better opportunities, especially the younger ones. The exodus will not be for financial reasons alone. Employees will gravitate toward the companies that have their best interests at heart, the companies who take care of and nurture their employees, where it feels like you are part of a family. When business gets tough as it is now, there is a scramble to cut overhead (including salaries and bonuses), cut costs (sometimes taking away the things that allow folks to properly do their jobs), and get work at any cost (taking on much risk at low margins). In this rush toward survival mode, companies tend to forget what all of this is doing to their people.
People are NOT your “most important asset”. People are your business. Period. And if the focus right now isn’t on your people, then it’s time to make a shift. There is much you can do and may of the initiatives are low cost or no cost. If you need any help with this process, just let me know.
Take a look at the following video of Herb Kelleher, the head of Southwest Airlines. He sums it up very well.