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                What do you mean you are not investing in your people?

                Michelle Sales/19 June 2023
                1 minute read time

                At the end of 2022 the Collins dictionary announced the word of the year as “permacrisis: an extended period of instability and insecurity”, how fitting. With the EOFY coming up you may be thinking you are indeed in a time of permanent disruption. Are you worried? budgets light, not feeling optimistic about the prospects …etc. When this happens, we’re often drawn to tighten the belt and reduce spending, and when that happens, well, we all know what gets cut first.

                This may just be the time you need to invest in your people most. 🤝

                Why? Let’s look at it from this angle. What is the cost of your people not being aligned and operating in silos? What is the cost of losing talent because of disengagement and lack of opportunities? What is the cost of lagging behind in innovation and transformation at a time of rapid change?

                Often when adaptability and risk taking are most crucial, we are most scared to change, to take bold steps, to shoot for a vision of the future. Instead we hold on to the present status quo. But what if we reframe risk taking and talk about continuity and progress instead?

                A true measure of the progress of your leadership impact can be found in your engagement with your people. It is the key foundation of building trust. Firstly, in the value and consistency of your 1:1s and the team development you are investing in. Secondly in the purposeful nature of said engagements.

                We published some interesting stats the other day about this: “78% of business leaders actively and regularly focus on engaging with their employees”. While “Only 33% of employees report feeling engaged”.

                The gap? I’d say due to a lack of connection and a meaningful conversation when people engage.

                For your 1:1s or team development meetings to boost engagement they have to have the following 3 key ingredients:

                ⭐ Regularity (cadence). 

                What happens when you stop or constantly reschedule? What message does this send your people? A regular, meaningful 1:1 conversation tells people you care. A cadence of bringing your team together through the year to work ‘on the team’ is also critical. Set both 1:1’s and team development in your diaries well in advance and be clear that this is a priority for you.

                ⭐ Purpose (goals and priorities). 

                These aren’t another way of having work in progress meetings. Make the purpose clear whether that is your 1:1’s or team development. Include the space for meaningful conversations, connection and feedback. This is your change to deepen trust, get aligned on the most important priorities and get people connected to each other.

                ⭐ Connection (authenticity and recognition). 

                Getting to know each other time is probably the most overlooked investment you can make. For effective collaboration, innovation and performance to thrive, you need to know your people well. Their strengths, priorities, working styles… Focussing on who people are serves a dual objective: giving authentic recognition (which is often top 3 in employees’ need to have but totally lacking list) and establishing the most performing relationships.

                What can I say? This is not about “people being your most valuable asset” (what an impersonal and old fashion way to put it). This is about how your leadership impacts the amazing progress your people can make to bring the most value. Your investment in them and the measure of achievement and success you can expect from it.

                Have a meaningful conversation. Connect and find out how your people are at their best and enable them for greatest impact. 💥

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                Michelle Sales/19 June 2023