Do you take genuine interest in your employees?
I was reading an interesting article written by Patrick Lencioni in Inc. magazine this week. It was about a top Executive at one of America’s largest and most successful companies who was working to make sure that the company took sincere interest in it’s employees. (We have to guess who it is, as the author did not mention any names.)
This Executive had a great strategy when doing interviews with candidates for management positions: He would ask them for the largest number of direct reports they ever had. The interviewees would often gloat about managing up to 20 people at a given time. The Executive would ask these candidates to list the employees by name. If they hesitated and could not remember their names, he made note of it.
Next, the Executive picked a person from the next-round candidate’s compiled list and says, “Ok, let’s take Sally. Tell me what was going on in Sallys’ life when you managed her.” If the person being interviewed stammered or was unable to give a clear answer, they were taken off the list.
Some of you, like me, may have a corporate background, where people hold strong paradigms of “business is business” and “personal life is personal.” That may have worked at a certain point in time, but it’s no longer the most effective way to interact with your employees. Of course, the aim is not to turn your place of employment into a fraternity–though some of my friends have worked for companies that keep their refrigerators and bars stocked with libations for Friday afternoons. But the culture within those companies may be geared more toward the next generation employees versus a 55-year-old, seasoned sales rep. I digress.
The point here is determining whether or not are you humanizing your team. Let’s remember, we are all human. We all have unique perspectives, paradigms, fears, talents, and dreams. I see many companies today that are still managing people. To really succeed, we must learn to lead people and manage things. The heart of leading people is aligning each person’s soul purpose to the vision of your company.
People have a need for significance. They want to know what they do matters…and that you care. The return on doing this in revenue terms is greater than any costs you can cut, system you can add, or new marketing campaign you can employ.
I have so much passion and conviction for this topic and its relationship to overall Organizational Health that I am I am doing a Power Lunch on this topic on Wednesday, November 4th. The event will be held at the One Hundred Club in Portsmouth, NH. If you are in the greater Seacoast please join me. I will be unveiling my greatest discoveries from studying Leadership, Elite Teams, and Performance Psychology for over 15 years. You won’t want to miss it!