I’m getting more concerned about how deep the wounds of this recession are going to be. The human cost of all this is devastating. I suspect the emotional cost of the recession is far greater than the measurable financial cost.
Work is important to us. Not just for the earnings but for self esteem; the need to feel wanted; to be useful; and to feel we are contributing in some way. I have never been of the opinion that people go to work simply for the money – it’s much deeper than that.
Most people I speak to and most of the experts I read agree that greed is at the root of our current problems. We simply wanted too much and we didn’t have the money to pay for it. We got into debt and the debt has to be called in. This applies to individuals as well as big business.
I regard myself as an eternal optimist and so I have been thinking about what good can come out of all this for business. I hope one of the up sides of the recession is that lessons will be learned. As far as the world of business is concerned I hope we see leadership behaviour like the following as we (hopefully) climb out of this mess.
• Managers really getting to know what make their employees tick and to work as partners of those employees to better understand their needs.
• More emphasis on creating ethical frameworks within which managers work that emphasise respect for employees.
• Much greater openness and sharing of information so that everyone on the payroll is aware of where the company is heading - rather than a few people at the top having that information.
• A language in all companies where the word ‘Us’ is used more than the word ‘Me’
What behaviours do you hope to see in the business world post-recession?