Saturday, January 10, 2015

Putting People First Is Good For Business

Consumer Matters

An article, by Greg Satell, in Forbes says that the best and most-successful businesses put employees and customers first, considering this as a good business strategy.

Satell writes:
In the go-go eighties, “Chainsaw” Al Dunlap’s enthusiasm for aggressive cost cutting and massive layoffs made him a corporate superhero. Later on, his indictment and conviction on fraud charges caused people to question his character, but not necessarily his methods.

Poor Al would never survive as a CEO today. Social media would eat him for breakfast. Today’s corporate executives need to mind their P’s and Q’s, because any stray word can instantly go viral, damage the stock price and diminish shareholder value.

These days, most corporate executives pay lip service to the idea that people come first, but beyond nice sounding platitudes, relatively little has changed. Boardroom discussions mostly focus on financial data and the need to be “practical” about people decisions Yet smart firms value their people not out of altruism or fear of a backlash, but because it’s good business.
It's too bad that most firms pay only “lip service” to this idea. Anyone who has been in business in some way know that this idea is undoubtedly true. It creates an energetic work environment that infuses the work-place with good will. The opposite, a ruthless pursuit for profits, creates a distrusting negative workplace. I have been an employee in both kinds of work environments; the latter left me drained of energy and tired at the end of the day. This is short-term gain, and it benefits only the senior management.

Thankfully, business is changing as a new generation of managers are climbing the corporate ladder; and on the other end, customers are demanding more from companies. Satell writes: “The best companies see people as more than a mere means to an end, but an end in themselves.” This business maxim increases service and keeps companies more honest. This is a classic win-win situation.

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You can read more at [Forbes]

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