I came across this quote whilst reading work by Simon Sinek – the renowned motivational speaker – check him out on YouTube.
We’ve all seen companies downsize their staff in turbulent financial times with no thought about the impact on those individuals, their families nor the overall drop in moral on the staff they keep.
Even when there isn’t a financial downturn, companies will often shred staff to reduce their payroll bill and thus increase their profits – more palatable for the shareholders – or is it?
I worked for a company for over 12 years. Just before the financial reporting, a round of redundancies would be announced to ensure the company retained it’s double digit growth. In reality, they haven’t grown at all. All they had done was culled their staff.
Simon’s point was what would happen if companies did the reverse? ‘Sacrificed the numbers to save the people’ – what a thought. The example he gave was of Bob Chapman Chair of Barry-Wehmiller in USA. This company was a £1bn plus turnover and made big machinery. In the 2008 financial crash he decided to ‘sacrifice the numbers to save the people’. With 30% written of the company’s value in one fail swoop – it was time to try something new.
He suggested everyone – from himself downwards, would take four weeks unpaid holiday. They didn’t have to take it consecutively and they could take it when they wanted but everyone would keep their jobs. The response was huge. Those senior people who could afford to take more unpaid leave traded with those that couldn’t. Everyone worked as a family, pulling together. They were involved in the decision, given the support to do it and felt safe and happy. The company prospered. It enjoys 20% year on year growth compared with the average 6%.
When you believe in why you are doing something, everything else falls into place. People support you because they believe in the same thing.
Wouldn’t it be refreshing if all companies ‘Sacrificed the numbers for the people’?
How much more would their profits grow? What do you think?
Growing Talent 12 (www.growing-talent.co.uk) is now firmly underway. Reports so far are all good.
Yesterday I visited Sebastien who has a background in sales, abroad and at home. With a passion for property but no experience he was a strong fit for Invest In Buy To Let who selected him to join them via the Growing Talent programme.
Two weeks in – the shine is not wearing off! Cold calling, researching and evening events have meant Sebastien has been able to work with multiple people and learn quicker in situ. He’s building his own client contacts and formulating strong relationships.
Luckily, Silin from Growing Talent 10 works for Shane, one of the directors in his other business Create A Business. Based at the same venue, she can give Sebastien the encouragement doing the programme demands.
It always amazes me how some people write off those who are unemployed without knowing their stories, personalities etc. Everyone on Growing Talent has to work full-time – often unsociable hours – for no money other than their benefits. Grated, at the end there is a permanent job on offer where both employer and new employee have a confident match. But the journey to that goal can be quite gruelling – especially the longer you’ve been out of work or the more negative, discouraging voices you have around you!
It takes a lot of tenacity and integrity to complete Growing Talent – definitely not for the faint hearted!
As a fairly new micro business – total complement of one! – I do not know enough about the corporate world of tax efficiency/avoidance depending on which view you take to make a right/wrong judgement call.
What is clear every time I do my VAT Returns or my Annual Return and get the respective bills I would like to pay as little tax as possible! Who wouldn’t?
I don’t take the view ‘if I’m paying this huge amount (relative to my business) – every business should’. Part of my business is working in the world of getting unemployed people from all backgrounds to raise their self-esteem and be equipped to go into permanent, sustainable work. I see all the time the positive impact employment makes on them, their families and their communities.
Organisations like Google might do what we all would like and pay as little tax as possible but they are a considerable employer in the UK. They are building new offices here which has the domino effect of a positive impact on local businesses as well. Local people will secure jobs. The outsourced companies Google contract will hire more people. What is the value to UK plc of this?
Whilst the headlines are full of France’s push to secure 130bn Euros – how much will they actually secure and at what cost to France’s job market and business economy?
Instead of knee jerking at the media headlines, maybe some reflective thought before making judgements is needed?
Looking forward to a transatlantic Skype in January with Mental Health professionals in Washington looking to enhance their offering to the corporate market.
It’s so important to remember in mental health and well being training that ‘one size does not fit all’. Each organisation will have different needs to ensure their workforce are happy, healthy and able to support each other.
What fits the public sector won’t fit the private sector. Then of course there are all the SMEs, charities, non-profit etc.
As we see people as individuals and respect their individual resilience in coping with life/work events, we should see businesses the same way. Their cultures and resources will all be different as well.
A great instructor will always listen to the core needs of the organisation and deliver a course to meet these areas, An essential consideration is to remove the stigma/embarrassment by making each element of the course interactive with case studies, quizs, discussions and a little bit of artwork!
Breaking perceptions. Getting Managers to be people first. Discussing and agreeing potential easy changes the workplace can introduce such as making mental health the subject of team talks, ensuring staff understand confidentiality will be observed in those initial conversations rather than escalation to a full blown HR investigation is key to making the workplace healthier and happier for all at all levels.
For business minds out there – a healthy workplace is a productive one. Remember there is no health without positive mental health.