One of the things I never quite understand was why companies spend so much time worrying about their businesses and so little time worrying about the people that make those businesses happen. I’ve been in senior management meetings when the subject of office space or a benefit program has come up and the concern is always more about the impact on the bottom line than on people’s lives.
My belief is that to be a good manager you have to be able to put yourself in the place of the people most affected by decisions. If you can live with it, than it’s probably a pretty good course to take. If you’re outraged, you might want to rethink it. I try and apply this to deal making as well. Less time negotiating means more time on the golf course, in my book (OK, more time to make other deals, but a guy can dream, right?).
Take care of the people and the people will take care of the business. Now, that’s not carte blanche to make bad decisions in order to keep the staff totally happy but it does mean that you have a better chance of success with happy, motivated employees (and partners) than you do with the opposite. Believe me – people can tell when you’re sincerely trying to be supportive and when it’s a phony “I’m doing this but I don’t really mean it” thing. Actions always speak louder than words!
What are you doing to say “thanks” to the folks that keep your business moving forward? Are you taking care of them so they’ll take care of you?