Graham Benson says a happy work force is a creative and productive work force. Having spent time at his organisation, I can vouch for the rentalcars.com CIO's claim.
Today's workers, rightly, expect more than just to be a cog in a wheel that makes a share portfolio increase in value. The chill winds of the recession can still be felt, but an interesting outcome of the downturn is a workforce that far more empowered and engaged than in any previous generation. As a result, badly handled transformation programmes can lead to major talent gaps in organisations, or worse, a workforce that no longer cares and is only there for the wage and for something to do between job interviews. With so many organisations and sectors requiring a transformation to a new revenue model, a de-motivated workforce is a ticking time bomb. Disruptive businesses like Benson's are thriving in large part because of their focus on workforce wealth fare.
It is the simplest thing for anyone in leadership to say that change is necessary for the sake of revenue. I doubt there are many out there that are not painfully aware of revenue needs since the recession began in 2008.
Revenue, important as it is, is just one ingredient of business success. When teams or individuals are kicked in the teeth and de-motivated they are a threat to your customer satisfaction, which very quickly becomes a threat to your revenue. I’ve seen during my time on this title the genuine people focused leader rise in importance, Halfords CIO Anna Barsby’s CIO Summit presentation of last year was widely asked for by peers post event.
Recently we in the CIO community have also seen the demand for innovation from our teams increase. With these new pressures, again leaders must ensure teams are happy and creative; because can a de-motivated team be expected to innovate?
Work today is a return to the collaborative nature of agricultural heritage with rising levels of communication. As another CIO recently said to me, from a position of great experience, "do change with people, not to them," needless to say, this CIO has a wealth of successful transformations under their belt. In this collaborative environment business leaders must be genuine, not just say the right thing. Then they don’t need to worry, the team is happy, they can be happy.