Business and Operations
By Baldwin Tom
Take care of your people, so they care about your company and its customers
By Baldwin Tom
Used poorly or ignored, investments can destroy a business. Of all investments, spiritual capital is the single investment that catalyzes all others. It serves as an internal power source to motivate people to work harder and smarter for an organization. Spiritual capital is not defined in a religious context here, nor as part of an organized belief system.
When spiritual capital and relationships are invested, the culture of an organization is altered to favour resiliency. It establishes a desirable workplace. It is about taking care of people so they care about the organization and its customers. There is tremendous creative energy in such environments. Just look at some companies where the norm is to provide employee-friendly needs, like food, health, rest and recreation, at no additional cost to the employee — think of Google.
In addition to the organizational implications, a most important aspect of spiritual capital investment is that it spurs people to action. People act from a spiritual foundation with higher motivations in doing good rather than making money. It is about long-term benefits rather than short-term profits. It’s about improving the quality of life. It’s about making a difference in peoples’ lives as a primary goal.
How does it work?
If people are acknowledged and/or rewarded for taking initiatives to improve products, services, or processes, such recognition becomes a powerful incentive to do it again. Everyone loves a pat on the back from time to time. Benefit? Employees love working because they are respected for who they are and what they can do.
The high energy and high morale that results from successful high-level efforts is infectious. This spurs others to step out beyond their comfort zones in support of the organization and its customers. Even if an effort falls short of expectations, there is no reprimand, just guidance to do better next time. In an ideal work environment, our innate desire to please our superiors creates a pattern of continuous improvement, as each success is recognized. Employees then believe that this is a place where they can grow and advance as long as they take the initiative to help them excel. When people see a future, they are happier employees.
Success breeds success! Renewable energy is stored in an organization from the energy generated by the efforts of those who stepped out to improve themselves beyond their job description. New energy is created by others when they believe that the organization is consistent and will continue to honour its ways to support the workplace.
The collective energy within the organization is captured in its processes, interactions, and events. The culture evolves into doing good for people while doing well financially, a collective win for all concerned. An overall feeling of well-being is created when there is coherency in values and belief are in sync. There is a strong positive feeling working in an organization where one does not have to be guarded in what they say and do. Employees love working here because they have pride in what the organization stands for and how it helps people, including themselves. Leadership loves working here because there is satisfaction in seeing people they lead excel.
It is clear that if leaders build a culture around what is meaningful for their people, there is a high potential for new energy release leading to creativity and innovation. Effectively, focusing on building spiritual capital brings into alignment the values of the people and those of the enterprise. This catalyzes your company for transformational change—ultimately moving to new plateaus of success.
Baldwin Tom is a management consultant, professional speaker, and author of 1+1=7: How Smart Leaders Make 7 Investments to Maximize Value. Baldwin is a Certified Management Consultant and served as the National Board Chair of the Institute of Management Consultants USA. For more information on Baldwin Tom, please visit www.geoddgroup.com.