Let’s face it. In the world of technology we’ve become so obsessed with the latest innovative way to solve a problem and lower human demand, we’ve forgotten these tools are all invented to help benefit our fellow humans.
This has led to significant issues in customer service, company culture, employee loyalty, and company growth. These factors combine to create failures which seem outlandish, but when looked at in depth clearly reveal a lack of baseline humanity.
In an attempt to streamline productivity, we have begun to view these tools as the most essential part of success and not the people behind them. Employees are treated as disposable cogs and not vital pieces of what the company is and strives to become.
So how can we counter this problem and leverage the amazing advancements at our fingertips without ultimately destroying our society?
1. Remember Innovation Requires Imagination
While there is hope that someday artificial intelligence will enable us to be taken care of without having to work, and all issues will be solved without requiring human focus, that day isn’t here yet.
In the meantime, it is essential for us to remember on a daily basis that everything around us in the modern world is a result of human imagination and hard work. From the dawn of time, everything developed has required a reason which benefits mankind. Without creative thought we would still be living in the stone age.
So while we are rapidly creating things which remove the need for human sweat in many areas, we must not forget the new opportunities becoming available just open doors to leveraging the power of our minds. In reality, the demand for creativity may be greater than ever.
Without business leaders creating environments to help spark creativity, the ability to achieve long term success is drastically reduced.
2. Creating A Positive Work Environment
So many people think it’s just about how much you can pay in salary and benefits which controls how productive your company can become. While being able to remove employee financial stress is extremely important, most people will tell you when looking back on life that it wasn’t “the best paying job” which correlated with their happiness and productivity.
It was a sense of belonging. Being valued for what they brought to the table and accepted for who they are as a human being, not just viewed as an easily replaceable tool. Their favorite managers were the ones who listened and weren’t consumed by personal power and ego.
It’s actually quite simple to create this kind of workplace. First as a leader, subjugate your ego. Listen to others and admit you don’t know everything. Second, make sure those in positions of authority below you understand and follow this mindset. Third, reward those with initiative and ambition. While monetary reward is appreciated, in truth that appreciation is short lived. A kind word has more power than what can be bought.
3. Help Others Achieve Their Dreams
So often managers view productive employees as threats to their position. Business owners often fear losing a great employee to competition or entrepreneurship.
These things are just the reality of life and cannot be avoided, but if you have built amazing relationships on a human level, going separate ways can be less painful, partnerships can be created to benefit all parties, or even new avenues to greater success can be revealed.
What if that person comes to you with an idea that could change your business model or provide a new revenue stream? Should you be greedy and implement that idea without reward? While it may pay off in the short term, the next person with an idea will surely hide it from you. By default you have just limited your own success and likely created competition for yourself.
What if they get an offer they can’t refuse and move onto another company? Fast forward 5 years. They are now CEO and want to buy you out. That human relationship you built makes them want to make a fair deal rather than rip you off in desire for revenge.
What if hard times come and you can’t meet payroll, or need your team to rise to the occasion beyond just being a 9-5 employees? If you have created the type of human-to-human relationships and environments discussed, you will be amazed at how they will be there for you when it counts.
Failure and success have very thin margins of separation. Don’t forget this when you find yourself becoming consumed with ways to reduce the need of human capital. Find ways to maximize it instead!