A business that overdraws on goodwill is already bust!

Sure, that’s what the contract, custom and practice and implicit ‘on the face of it’ deal looks like. The reality is that most employees give so much more more that’s rarely seen, acknowledged or even considered to be ‘given’ at all.

When people are (hopefully) investing their 37.5/40 or whatever hours in any given business. These are of course hours that they can never have back, this is time that has been denied to family, friends, adventures or ventured in other projects and opportunities. To my mind – this time, energy and interaction is ‘emotional currency’. Even before outputs are considered – maybe it would be useful for employers to be at least mindful that this is how their people are, in most cases, consciously ‘choosing’ to invest on behalf of the business.

Whether the employer is enjoying a return or not – is a joint enterprise and not a given.

Business, at the best of times, can be tough and unremitting – during a recession, it can often be brutal and unforgiving.

In a time where businesses seemed obsessed with process, efficiency, ‘reengineering’, overhead reduction, rationalisation and a ‘more for less’ ideology – the very best of those businesses are tuned into the fact that there people, personalities and lives right there – in amongst it all.

Before we reach for the numbers to do the inevitable analysis – try this; take a good, long look at your people and ask yourself three things:

1) What do they look like?

2) What do they sound like?

3) How does it feel?

If they don’t look happy, energised and motivated – if they don’t sound bright, cheerful and engaged and if it feels flat, uninspired and plodding; it’s time to act.

This is when you need to know which buttons to press and where to find them. Would ‘motivational training’ be the first thing you’d invest in for your management team. If not, it may be time to rethink the unthinkable.

Deposit plenty of goodwill so you can make withdrawals when your business needs it most.