Prioritising employees: If not now, when?
When we hear people talking with conviction about profits and productivity as the necessary ingredients in order to be successful organisation, it seems to be hollow...
...because, no organisation, small or large, can win over the long run without energised or happy employees who believe in the purpose of the organisation and understand how they are going to achieve it.
However, we all do realise that an organisation's long-term success is built on employees who love working there and customers who love the company's products or services. This connects with the significant impact of not considering the culture in our work environment proactively and ultimately the employees suffer for it, because you can't create great products, deliver a good service or infuse a great experience from unhappy employees.
Organisations or companies talk about brand value having a vital effect on their long-term customer relationships and the possibility of that tends to shift downwards when the most important elements are not being treated properly i.e.; "Employees". They should be experiencing compassion, respect, motivation, trust and a more human workplace.
When organisations show this care and gratitude to their employees, seeing them as human-beings, your organisation will improve work potential, mental health, productivity and self-esteem.
An article from Edelman evidence this view by saying in their 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Brands and the Coronavirus Pandemic, that
90 percent of consumers in 12 markets reported that brands must do everything they can to protect the well-being and financial security of their employees, even if it meant suffering significant financial losses; otherwise, their brand loyalty would be impacted.
Employees are now considered to have unprecedented material impact on a business. When they asked people to rank which group was more important to a company’s long-term success, employees topped the list over customers, communities a business serves and even its shareholders.
In their 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Institutional Investors, they reported that
69 percent of investors said companies that prioritise their commitment to employees positively influence their trust in them. More explicitly, respondents ranked “poor relationships with employees” as having a negative impact on investor confidence.
In short, investors increasingly take notice of how well organisations treat their people.
Perhaps, it is important for the boards to change their approach to governance by prioritising employees in terms of board decisions, growth and development and in carving the company's path towards its purpose.