Help them chase their dreams – and see yours fulfilled.

June 30, 2015 Fraser Smart

People’s dreams matter.

In a FastCompany article, Whitney Johnson (author of Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream) writes:

“Far too often, we think of our employees as a sentient version of [property, plant, and equipment], looking to drive productivity as if people were automatons,” she says. “Yet the real returns are to be had when we remember that every employee …carries a secret dream hidden in their hearts, and we as employers invest in and harness the power of those dreams.”

When your competitors are busy marketing their products, Johnson asks, why should you risk investing in “yet another morale-boosting program”?

As I recently wrote, every employer can afford to invest a certain amount in its people, based on its business model and the competitive landscape. I believe that only by aligning the needs of your business and the needs of your employees can you gain a solid competitive advantage. The most successful businesses focus on helping employees achieve individual career, health and wealth goals – aligning those individual goals to the organization’s objectives.

Integrating business requirements and individual goals is really an exercise in engagement. That’s not soft management. When faced with any business challenge, the companies that succeed are those that find the best possible outcomes for both the business and its workforce. Employees who are engaged in pursuing their particular dreams through the work they do – at any level of the organization – are more productive, better able to innovate around roadblocks and problems, able to provide superior service to your customers, and ultimately to drive business growth.

These rules:
  • Align the organization’s goals with the career, health and wealth needs of employees
  • Make certain that management, benefits, development and compensation programs work together and deliver the maximum return on investment
  • Bring business challenges – especially economic challenges – into the open, so that employees are included in the conversation, understand what the company’s goals are, and have a chance to contribute to the effort to meet those challenges

It takes a balance of judgment, innovation and insight into the employee viewpoint, but helping them chase their dreams will, in the end, drive the business forward.

About the Author

Biography

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