We are always having the conversation around employees making sure they align their goals and values to that of the organisation or team they work with! but maybe it is time for Boards and leaders to take another look at values, purpose and what matters.
Are you thinking about what matters to your stakeholders – employees, customers and community?
- Do they want to work with, invest or buy from the smartest, most profitable or innovative companies?
- Do your employees want stability or work for the best paying organisations?
- Do your employees want to grow and work with great leaders who are genuine?
- Are your stakeholders interested in a caring, socially conscious, purpose-driven organisation?
Do the actions of your brand and board demonstrate your values?
I recently read an AFR article about a particular individual who received a promotion because he made a “lot of money” for the organisation. It made me think about the importance of that well-worn term ‘aligning values’ and how companies are displaying and communicating their said values and qualities with all their stakeholders.
The above example I’ve seen time and again within the finance industry. People promoted because of their substantial financial contribution (new clients, a strategic relationship or revenue) to a firm.
We all understand the importance of increasing shareholder value but at what expense? How does a promotion as a result of making “lot of money” for the organisation meet with the culture, values or purpose statement on their website ?
Material Capital (what can I buy, money to invest, acquiring a material advantage, power and influence) might have been the traditional measurement for the success of an organisation but as our world changes it is the investment in Social Capital (how we develop and maintain relationships, and how we help each other) that will be key for success.
Companies need to build trust and behave for the common good, not only for their stakeholders – shareholders, clients and employees but for the broader community.
To incorporate this, Boards and leaders must have Emotional Intelligence in their repertoire. They must demonstrate that they do understand and feel for others and can read the signals of all stakeholders and the wider community.
If organisations are wanting to build for a long term future, then Emotional Intelligence as a skill set is mandatory. It may be difficult to change the mindset of some, as historically, observing success has come by behaving a certain way – but it is possible.
If it is not possible with your existing leaders then invest in the people that matter who are the future of the business. Help them to adopt the right competencies around emotional intelligence and good leadership early, Many are already socially aware but there will always be room to improve.
While we will always celebrate a financial or client win, it should never again be the prime reason for promotion. Organisations who start investing in what really matters will attract and retain the right people and the right clients. This is the future of work.