Businesses, industries, and economies depend on three kinds of capital: financial, intellectual, and labor. Obviously, the investment of financial capital provides businesses with the money they need to open their doors, maintain their operations, and expand as their customer bases grow. This is why investors and banks are so important. It is also why the investment of financial capital is rewarded with either a share of a business or interest payments. The need for the investment of intellectual and labor capital is, however, not always appreciated or properly rewarded. For new, small-profit, and small-revenue businesses, which do not have the budget to pay for these things, the need for intellectual and labor capital is most obvious.
Businesses need solutions to problems, as well as innovative thinking, to help them survive and thrive. When businesses do not have the budget to pay for these essentials, they rely upon the free investment of this intellectual capital to help them succeed. When business owners and managers are freely given intellectual capital; however, they do not always value it nor do they recognize the impact it has on their businesses. Similarly, employees may be paid, but most businesses also ask their employees to go above and beyond their pay rate. Because employees do not just work for a paycheck, employer appreciation can push employees to invest a little more of their labor into their employer’s business.
With that in mind, employees are the ones who support management and do the work of the business, thus subordinate employees and lower level managers are required for executive management and the business to achieve success. As part of a team and as individuals, all employees must utilize each others' strengths to overcome weaknesses and barriers found within the workplace. Although not all employees are as equally critical to business operations, management does need a sold workforce to achieve success for the business. For this reason, all employees are important to the business and must be valued as important members of that particular business community.
Businesses are communities that are composed of various subcultures. Beyond the obvious gender, ethnic, and religious differences among employees, the cultures of management and subordinate employees can often conflict. This may lead to attitudes that influence how a worker or manager views the cultures of these other employees. This type of bigotry on behalf of both management and workers can severely hurt a firm's business operations, because it creates division and leads to these groups taking each other for granted. In reality, all cultures within a business need to understand the significance of each level of employment, instead of undermining each other.
Looking at conflicts between union workers and management, clear examples exist where cultural differences cause serious friction between management and subordinates. In organizations affected by these conflicts, there are employees, who work for the company, and those who work for the union. Workers are rebelling against a corporate entity trying to diminish the value of the workers' labor and undermine their lifestyles for the sake of making others wealthier. Conversely, management sees ungrateful employees, who want more than what they are worth, and are unwilling to compromise to keep their lifeline, i.e. the company, profitable and alive.
In extreme examples, workers and management see each other as enemies versus essential components of a single entity. If these conflicts go unresolved, both groups start to act irrationally in regards to business decisions while the simple goal of punishing each other takes the forefront in labor negotiations. These culture wars, thus, undermine the business and only create resentment by both groups. The truth is that all employees, whether the CEO or a janitor, are essential components of the same business. As most businesses only employ individuals when they are needed, all employees are, therefore, important to the success of the company.
Meanwhile, there are also costs associated with lost opportunities when there is a failure to appreciate and demonstrate the value of all employees. Creative problem solving and innovative thinking help improve business operations as well as the end product. Only an effective team effort allows a good idea to be expressed, recognized, and developed. Because the teams can exploit the strengths of all members, the relationships and connections of team members allow them to accomplish their goals as well as explore alternatives. These alternatives are what make businesses competitive in the long run. Consequently, businesses must value all of their employees.
Furthermore, the day to day operations of a business depend on individual contributions. When all levels of employment can connect as individuals, there is a better chance of understanding what all the employees of a business need in order to achieve success in their individual roles. As a consequence, a stronger, healthier community exists within the company and success for everyone is more likely. This means management must recognize the importance of every employee and treat them with due respect in order to help foster a healthy work environment, instead of division between management and subordinate employees.
Whether discussing a small team of employees or a massive workforce, the success of each team member in his or her role impacts the overall success of the company. On the other hand, it is not the individual achievements that alone determine success for an organization, but rather, the success of the collective. Subordinates are there to ensure management succeeds in its responsibilities; however, workers are the ones who actually achieve success for the business, thus management exists to guarantee their efforts result in success for everyone. Where there is ineffective teamwork, the impact on the company leads to inefficiencies, extra costs, weak morale, and human assets turning into liabilities.
Read old posts