Lucija's blog / 26.01

I recently had a conversation with a colleague, who is an investor about his latest investment: a purchase of a company, generating a profit of several million. After chatting for 10 minutes, I noticed that, perhaps because of the financial importance of the investment, or perhaps because of a lack of time, we had not talked about the employees and the management of this company. Namely, I personally believe that behind every good financial performance of a company is the individual. Two. Three. A team. A multitude of employees. A good long-term result doesn’t happen by itself… not even as a result of a financial injection. Do you agree?

I think that (also) in companies, that which is essential is invisible to the eye. Relationships, mutual energy, understanding, respect, responsibility, shared motivation – these are not just words, but the invisible glue that binds and holds employees together. And that, in my opinion, is what creates a good result. People are most engaged when they feel good, and that’s something worth being mindful of: “Did the development team make a good connection with the sales team? Is Jake feeling well? Is Tory having issues in his personal life? Is John overwhelmed?” I admit, many times I can’t show a direct/financial result at the end of the day, because I spend a lot of time listening, seeing, observing, and offering support. We must take good care of a leader who manages 20 people, who will then transfer this good relationship onto his team. And the result will then be visible in the company’s profit and loss accounts.

Sometimes we get too caught up in the managerial role, and not enough in being leaders. We are not sufficiently aware of the impact we have on our close colleagues and other employees. In addition to dealing with the essential job issues, I think it is important to show them our own vulnerability, because managers are also just people, with everyday problems. It is exactly by being authentic that we grow closer with our colleagues, and because we all have similar problems, we understand each other better, are more connected, and at the same time we encourage a sense of belonging and inclusion. Words are one thing – actions are another, and the latter hold a much greater value. Our actions can be used to show employees that we care about them, their concerns, their health, and at the same time respect their achievements. This is the “fuel” to continue to motivate them. And this too will be visible in the company’s profit and loss account.

Topics regarding sustainability are very relevant at the moment – we are mostly focusing on environmental and climate issues. However, we too rarely think about sustainability objectives related to people. One of the goals of sustainable development is: Ensure healthy lives and promote general well-being throughout all periods of life of an employee. According to the National Institute of Public Health, a person spends at least a quarter of their life at work during the required 40-years of service. A quarter! Therefore, we can speak of delivering on Corporate Social Responsibility when a company takes into consideration its overall social, economic and environmental impact, and initiates initiatives to ensure a positive impact. I believe that within the framework of sustainability, a holistic and an integrated approach, respectively, is important. It is important that companies primarily provide employees with an environment that will enable them to better live up to their potential, progress faster and grow as individuals. For the third time: This result will also be visible in the company’s profit and loss accounts.

When we introduced internal mentoring and coaching to our company, one of the internal coaches asked what one should do if a colleague brings up a personal topic during the coaching process? The answer quickly became apparent. If we look at the big picture, people can rarely leave their problems, beliefs, values and habits at the company door. All of that has an impact on our well-being and consequently on our work and, at the same time, on the well-being (in the worst-case scenario, also on the work) of our colleagues. When our premise is that the goal of companies is to increase productivity, progress and development, the answer quickly becomes clear. Happy people are more productive. Let’s think about how we can offer them the support they need. For the fourth time: And the result will (again) be visible in the company’s profit and loss accounts.

I share something positive – maybe someone will benefit from it. I usually start team meetings with the introductory topic “Share the Positive”, where each colleague shares something positive. In the past, we most often started meetings with challenges or anticipated activities, which did not necessarily result in a good working climate. Today, however, after a “cycle of sharing the good and the positive”, the facial expressions of colleagues begin to change and the climate is different – filled with a sense of all we are capable of. We are more efficient, more effective and more motivated. That climate and motivation is then transferred from the meeting to the work environment, and onto the teams.  Our experience supports the fact that people will not remember us by what we said, but rather by how we made them feel. For the fifth time: And the result will (again) be visible in the company’s profit and loss accounts.

It was not that long ago that a person/a colleague was considered a resource and we spoke of “Human Resources Management”. During the period of the fourth so-called information revolution, we must speak of the proactive relationship between the company and its employees, who create not only the result, but also a multitude of relationships between all the stakeholders. The following must be placed at the forefront – a colleague’s talents, their personality, performance in different areas, their understanding of an agile team and project work, etc. Today, the concept that is emerging in companies is that of strengthening the “Human Capital Management”. That is a much broader approach than the traditional administrative function of the human resources department, which mostly handles recruitment, training, salaries and other important details of employment. Many places still lack having more sophisticated ways of promoting the development of the potential of human resources. We must realize that we live and work in an era of the information revolution, when the most advanced are creating a parallel virtual world, are changing values, ways of living and the perspective of entire generations. We have to constantly adapt to digital innovations and use new technologies. Interpersonal relations are also taking on new dimensions. Companies should use this as an opportunity to encourage engagement of employees at work and use new technologies as a way to help establish new values and competencies, which will have an impact on increasing productivity and adding value per employee. For the sixth time: This result will also be visible in the company’s profit and loss accounts.  

And last but not least, I would like to highlight another very important lever for making a profit in business – the MISSION. I speak of the company’s mission and the individual’s mission. The mission of a company is usually linked to the vision and strategies of the company, usually followed by the values and the mission of the employees. When these elements are connected, namely, when an employee shares the company’s mission and the same values, they are happier. As individuals, we have greater influence over our lives than we care to admit. As well as over our choice of a company with which we share a vision and values. That too can help us discover our reason for being and our passion, respectively, which can also be realized through work. Then even the most routine task turns into a flow of happiness. That brings us great satisfaction, gives meaning to our lives and at the same time makes us more productive. And it all promotes happiness. And happiness often brings success (many are convinced that it goes the other way around). You may have heard that the most successful people differ from others only by having an optimistic outlook for the future? 

Yes, let’s be optimistic about the future. Acknowledging that people create value. Those that are happy even more so.