Change the order | Work Series

You have to choose between BMW and Ford.

Read time: about 2 min.

I think the choice is obvious. But would your decision be different if you were an investor for any one of them and affordability was not a consideration? Maybe. But, the choice is not automatic. Your preference for products or services, as a customer, could be based on several factors, and your investment in the company producing it may not be the only one.

Shareholder obsession
But, traditionally, most, if not all, public companies focus on appeasing shareholders and place them ahead of customers and employees. This approach is not uncommon in the unorganized market place as well. The owners place a priority on profitability first, followed by customers, and employees are often after-thought.

All parties involved are critical to the success of any endeavour. Shareholders’ investment is essential for keeping the company running. Customers are vital to the business’s existence. Employees are crucial to make use of the shareholder’s investment for meeting customer’s needs.

If any of the three components are missing, the entire equation falls apart. What if we have all the investment we need to build a product or service, but no employees to build or offer them, and no customers to buy them? What if we have the investment and employees, but no customers? What if we have potential customers (because there’s a need) and employees to build or offer them, but no money to put them together?

You get the point.

Why then, the priorities are not in sync?

Logically, each critical component plays a symbiotic relationship and share an equal place in the success equation. Here’s where the equation needs a reorder, and why the present unprecedented time qualifies for a change.

In today’s dire need for keeping the engine running and the economy humming from coming to a halt, there is only one hero – people doing what they are supposed to do and beyond. Be it the frontline protecting and saving us or those working tirelessly helping clients in the same way if not better, people have come to the rescue. Demands are high for essential commodities, and they are made available only by people – not shareholders. Employees have placed themselves as harms length to keep the product and services going to meet the needs of customers like you and me.

Most public organizations have remained obsessed with meeting market analysts’ expectations each quarter. The quarter results emphasize the returns for the investors. Depending on the outcome, employees keep the status quo or get pushed to the bottom. And this repeats each quarter.

I am not naive to ignore capital essential for our economy, but we must admit that every business benefits by prioritizing people to the top.

As is widely known, engaged employees contribute to the bottom line big time. This is not a new concept, but time and time again, we forget about the imbalance placing employees to the bottom.

Now is the time. As we have gotten accustomed to new ways of doing things, it’s time for us to revisit our sequence of priorities.

Thank you for sharing some of your precious time with me each week. Leave a comment if you liked it.

Stay safe, stay hopeful.

With gratitude, until next week.



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