The hit or miss of employee value
What makes us unique as human beings is also what makes leadership, at times, a bit like trying to pin the tail on the donkey. That feeling, thinking, behaving differently from the next person is part of the uniqueness, as is the way we look at and experience the world.
Each person’s perspective is a little, or a lot, different to the next…and it determines what matters to them, what’s meaningful, what they value.
Meanwhile many organisations and their leaders invest heavily in getting the right blend of compensation and benefits to attract and retain good people yet this is only half the story. The oft underinvested areas of culture, relationships with line manager and colleagues, opportunities to develop (and not just skills or for promotion), a compelling organisational purpose, are also part of the ‘value’ we offer employees (the Employee Value Proposition, EVP).
And that’s where it gets tricky – whilst the ‘comp & ben’ package is infinitely measurable and comparable to what others get these more emotionally-based elements like relationships, culture, etc. can only be measured through the eye of the beholder. What I value you may value more or not at all.
Putting relationship first
So, as leaders it pays to put relationships at the top of our agenda, investing in 1-1s, building dialogue, giving feedback, fostering trust. This helps us get to the heart of what matters to the people we lead, individually…what they value, what they put their effort into, what they trust in.
In my view getting this interpersonal element right brings a greater and more sustained return on investment than all the ‘hard stuff’. Less a case of tail on donkey and more releasing the potential of thoroughbreds.