Thursday, September 3, 2015

As a Business Leader: How do you Value your People

Value is multidimensional but also very specific.

We experience the value of someone we just met through an exchange of information. Employers experience the value of their employees every day through their daily interactions with the company customers. In our data-driven society, we seem to measure everything and everyone, and then, we use that information to judge the value and worth of people consciously and unconsciously. However, how can you look at "value" as a situationally specific and multidimensional way, and as a leader or manager, when you value someone, can you make a fair judgment and treat them the same by treating them differently?

Value is multidimensional but also very specific: To really recognize the value, we must value everything. People’s mindsets, skills, capabilities, emotions, and weaknesses, our professional goals, our relationships, nature, society at large. Only then can we strike a balance without compromising the value of any person or anything. If you treat everyone and everything as valuable then deal with your own biases, everyone starts with a level playing field. The value is very specific. It depends on how one would define value and interpret it to fit the mold or apply criteria to create the desired value. Value is also multidimensional, such as personal value, ethical values, principal values, and cultural values, etc. You can not determine the value of someone based on observation, statistics, or assumptions. However, you can experience the value of someone directly or indirectly through engagements or interactions with that someone or a group of people.

The value of an individual is measured based on productivity, creativity, and contribution to the organization today and tomorrow. An individual hired in the wrong capacity may not seem as valuable or as contributing as much unless allowed to help with other functions or share ideas that change the way processes or procedures are done, adding value to the organization. The value of an individual is based on their contributions and connections to the organization. Many skills can be taught, but if someone doesn't have a passion for their work and a connection to the organization, it becomes very difficult to contribute fully, and, therefore, the value is less. All companies & HR departments claim to value their employees highly, but this value (perceived or actual) of a person changes depending on time & circumstances. Employees are valued when they are seen as performers who devote maximum time, efforts and resources to meeting organizational goals. Talent managers should also spend time on unleashing the talent potential and transform it into business value for long-term growth.

Valuing someone implies respecting them, just like valuing nature implies respect for the environment. For people this is reflected in seeking their support and offering yours; being courteous and caring. By collectively valuing everyone also places you strategically to extract the best performance from all employees. It is obvious that the actions we CHANGE are our behavior to pass judgment when we have not had an opportunity to experience the value of what it is that we want to judge. Valuing someone implies respecting them, encourage them to be who they are, understand them via empathy, and align their value with the organization’s value propositions.

Avoid falling into the value assessment trap and looked at each person as a valuable team member. At first glance, they may not fit the mold expected or be at their best in a specific role but time spent on getting to know the team allows a leader to understand the individual contribution of all of their people; adjusting, realigning roles and responsibilities and optimizing output - making best use of all of your valuable people. There is always a good chance that many people will see value in anything. What another fails to do is controlling their prejudices, which is an individual choice. By accepting that every employee is unique with unique sets of abilities, it is critical to recognize that everyone is valuable, so treat them the same by treating them differently and manage them accordingly.

Valuing employees do not mean you treat everybody exactly the same way but it means you treat them the same by treating them differently. In terms of capability for how people need to engage with one another, whether it be in a professional or personal sense and whether those capabilities can be nurtured and developed in a way that is mutually beneficial for both parties. The feeling of being valued or not is mostly the result of how we have or haven't communicated our intentions to use or develop people's capabilities and unleash their potentials.

Value is multidimensional and situational; there is a tangible value and intangible value as well. So managers need to avoid making value judgments even in the face of performance issues by understanding who, what and why. They need to be a huge advocate for making people feel secure in the wider organization and then tuning the individual's role or responsibilities to suit their character, abilities or preferences, which required the whole management team to really get to know their people profoundly.


Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that
I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.
Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

andrew fawce

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