Business is a human endeavor. The success of a company far exceeds its profit and loss statement or quarterly earnings. Although the life blood of a business is to achieve and sustain long term profitability, it’s greatest source of vitality remains the humans that make up what that business is.
- Rehumanizing business means we have to look beyond what we sell and the service that we offer and get back to who we are as a business and why that matters.
Far too often we see companies dehumanizing rather than rehumanizing their endeavors. For the sake of profit alone, the people that make that company profitable are seen as simply part of the money-making machine that manufactures, produces, sells, services, and are expected to do so with a smile because, “They get paid at the end of the week, so they should be happy.”
- Rehumanizing business sees people as human beings, not human doings.
Many times, when attempts are made to understand and appreciate those who work to drive the success of business the motivation is selfish. “Happy employees are more productive!” So, we push to make employees happy not because we want them to be happy, but because we want them to be more productive…for us. Am I suggesting that we shouldn’t want higher productivity leading to a more profitable future for all? Of course not! I’m suggesting we shouldn’t have to choose between profit and people in our workplace.
- Rehumanizing business means we don’t have to choose between valuing profitability and the people who work for us.
While we’re engaging in the work of rehumanizing business we should probably stop sticking each generation into generalized Tupperware containers and storing them into categories like: “Millennials want to be philanthropic, Gen Z wants to be entrepreneurial, Gen X wants to work remotely, Baby Boomers just want security”. Ultimately all employees, regardless of age, want 2 things…to be valued as a person and know their contribution matters.
- Rehumanizing business takes seeing each employee as an individual who knows how they want to be valued and acknowledged for their contribution.
So, if we are to go about this work of rehumanizing business we should probably know exactly how to value and acknowledge each person in our organization. And the only way to do that is to…