I believe it’s most important because when it comes right down to it organizations, companies and teams are about the PEOPLE who make them up. Your company can have the best technology, the best systems and the best process but if it is staffed by overwhelmed and under-appreciated people it will struggle to succeed.
Great companies and great leaders are intentional in developing their people. They build the whole developmental concept right into their business plan. They know that success rarely happens by accident and neither does people development.
Pull out the plan for your business or organization right now. Go to the section on developing your people….can’t find it? Then get yourself a new plan and get it immediately before you waste anymore time struggling in areas that you don’t need to.
Developing your people begins with an understanding that most people simply don’t know how to be successful. A very few people can succeed by being told what to do but almost all people need to be shown. Most people need a model of success. They need to see successful behaviors in action. They need to see that if they put in the effort that they too might succeed.
How conscious are you of your role as a model for your people? How do you make certain that you are the model they need?
Great companies and leaders know that most people are naturally motivated. YES, you read that right. Most people are motivated until somebody comes along and de-motivates them.
Clearly, no leader in their right mind would do that intentionally but they do it all the same. The number one way to de-motivate a member of your team or organization is to micro-manage them. Micro-managing sends the message that they can’t be trusted. It says they just aren’t good enough to do the job on their own.
People have a built in need to be valued and trusted; micro-managing sends the message that they are neither. If you feel the need to micro-manage your people there can really only be two possibilities: either you hired the wrong people or you’re not giving them the skills they require to succeed. Micro-managing exposes the weakness of the leader, not the weakness of their people.
Great companies and leaders know that developing their people takes time. There are two types of mindsets in business; one says that we “spend time on” our people and the other says we “invest time with” our people.
If you see your people as a time “expense” you’ll likely never do what it takes to develop them. If you see your people as an “investment” then you have a chance to develop them into your organization’s leaders of tomorrow.
Let me be clear about this; if you really want your business to thrive, if you want to build a world class organization then you simply MUST develop your people. It really isn’t optional.
The most current research available shows that less than 25% of employees describe themselves as “fully engaged” and nearly a third say they are “completely disengaged.” Some may even be “actively disengaged” meaning they actually look for ways to damage the organization.
Employees who believe they don’t matter and employees who believe they are not trusted tend to disengage pretty quickly.
Do you really think you can grow your business and be successful when 75% of your people are at best just sort of engaged?
Do you still think developing your people is optional?
I didn’t think so!