The barrels of life theory will be enhanced if we treat our employees as humans, rather than numbers. If we bring humanity back at the work floor, and at the core of our economic thinking, it will reward in times of crisis, and without crisis.
What’s in a Number
Too often employees are considered as a sum of numbers. A number on the books that causes a number of costs and can result in a number of revenues. If a company is in economic hardship or wants to increase profits, it cuts the number of employees. As in a board game they are moved around, or removed all together according to the needs of the company, not according to their needs.
No wonder the number of burn-outs and bore-outs peaked long before Covid-19 peaked.
The skills, time, energy and humanity of employees got underestimated – bore-out – or overestimated – burn-out-, as long as it matched the numbers on the manager’s documents. As long as the numbers were right.
Vulnerability and Value
But if Covid-19 has done anything, it has emphasized the humanity of employees. Their vulnerability threatened by the virus, but as well as their value fighting for the company to survive.
Most companies had to send their most important assets home, not realising they were their most important assets: their people.
Moreover, various countries that faced the collapse of their business altogether because their business model was no longer suitable in the new reality, had to rely on the innovative and creative skills of their people to re-invent their business. To think how to divert production lines, consumer channels, marketing strategies, or the product altogether to keep on being relevant in the new world.
Moreover, most companies had to learn to thrust on their people to keep the business running remotely. They had to have confidence that once send home, their people would continue doing their job, a reason that caused reluctancy for home-offices before Corona. Now the choice had been made for them, many companies realised it wasn’t a bad choice at all.
Companies that cared for their people before Corona, now experienced how their people cared about them. Companies who did not, experienced the opposite. When a ship is about to sink, only the crew of the boat where the captain has been loyal and good to them will stay and do whatever they can to rescue the ship; in any other case, they would leave the sinking ship behind. Abandoning the ship that had abandoned them long before in their hearts.
Companies who dedicated themselves to people management rather than number management experienced an enlightening loyalty of their employees; even though salaries fell and some even lost their job, the loss of the numeric connection did not result in a lost connection all together.
Companies that had reduced their people to numbers solely, were the ones that were left alone with the number solely as well. If they in this crisis could not rely on their people, it was because their people could not rely on them before this happened all together.
Companies with a heart for their people before the crisis, were taken into the heart of their people during this crisis.
You reap what you sow, as the saying goes. In times of Corona in particular and in crisis of general, your destiny is set by the steps you took before it. The crisis might have been a catalyst for the seeds to grow, to flower or to extinguish, but it were the companies’ actions before that determined the result.
Going back to real-life now, going back to business-as-usual, we should learn one thing: we are all human, all our employees are human, as are our managers. We have to respect and protect each other, and care about one another, not only in the amidst of a crisis, but before a crisis, so we can manage the ship through the storm together, rather than pushing others or jumping ourselves off board of an unliveable ship.
Corona showed us our vulnerability, but as well our value. Only if we stand together, we can overcome. Only if we are all respected and treated as the human-beings we are, and allowed to live and work according to our full potential, not too much, not too little, we will be the seeds that flower once a crisis hits, or that will regrow once the storm has passed.
If we practice people, no number management, we will survive when the numbers collapse during any crisis.
This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read
- How this too shall pass
- how this times of self-isolation should not mean loneliness,
- how you can contribute to this battle,
- how gratitude lights up the dark,
- how united we will stand strong
- on the most util strategy in awake of a crisis
- how I got blown of my feet as well, but caught by many caring hands,
- how being calm can get us through the storm.
- about Love in Times of Corona
- how to discover your own talents
- why we need stories to hold on to
- how you can be creative and innovative.
- how to spend your mot valuable assets in times of Corona.
- how to listen to the sound of silence.
- How breath taking Corona really is.
- discover the other freedoms Corona has shown us,
- about the new-born freedom Corona gave us.
- about another way to exceed your personal bubble.
- about the position of nature in this entire story
- about nature bouncing back
- about the crucial choice between resilience and resistance
- about the game to play
- about star gazing in dark times
- About looking for Meaning
- About how Music Connects
- about what Easter and Corona have in Common
- About the Shark and the Turtle
- About the Irony of Distance
- Why to Hold on
- Fake News
- about The Big Unknown we live at
- about Feeling Alive
- About turning obstacles into opportunities
- about what the Birthday of my nephew learned me about life
- About where we should go from here?
- About coping with incertitude
- About the Great War and the Great Pandemic, and we should not forget
- about history’s most important message, echoed by corona
- How one country could rule them all
- About how to prevent the next Green Pandemic
- about how we are experiencing a new episode of our history books
- about when the poppy flowers
- about what’s in a number
- masks off, how a friend in need is a friend indeed
- What’s Next. after we flattened the curve?
- how will our personal story look like in a post-corona world?
- why we should never let a good crisis go too waste.
- How Spring can happen in Autumn
- How to unlock the lockdown
- Why education matters
- How we can give meaning to the meaningless deaths. (rethink health care)
- The remarkable marketability of health, or not?
- the remarkable rewards of health
- The queeste for global health care
- Health Heroes
- Pains and Gains
- Solidarity 3.0
- Work-Life Balance
- Home sweet home
- Real Connections
- Leadership 3.0
- gratitude 3.0
- Respect 3.0
- Humanity 3.0
- Change Management
- Economic Catharsis
- To consume or not to consume?
- Travel the world, travel your heart
- Barrels of Life
Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark time.