I got some direct feedback recently that I was not always nice and nuanced for the corporate world. A world that has given me a lot in my life.
Both statements are true.
I’m grateful for my corporate time, and I’ve always said, ‘Never say never’ because I miss the team aspect of my work.
It’s also true I can be critical of corporate culture. That’s not about bashing corporate for being corporate. Absolutely not.
It’s partially because, as a writer, taking a position makes my writing more interesting to read.
The other part is that there’s so much more potential in the corporate world if, for example, return on employee experience is taken more seriously.Erikjan Lantink
Interestingly enough, the company my feedback source works for does many things right.
The strategic planning process is textbook. The emphasis on people’s growth and treating people well is sound. The company is invested in being a good employer.
I often say that not you don’t have to take everything I write for truth. It all depends on your context. And when your context is working for you, that’s great.
I just think many corporate companies don’t have their act together.
Starting with leaders not understanding their role.
Jack Welch, the late CEO of GE, once said that his job as CEO was twofold.
1. Assign capital
2. Manage people
The people part took more of his time than anything else.
He admitted he didn’t know all the CFOs in his business, but he did know all the HR officers.
AB InBev is known for demanding their leaders to invest at least one-third of their time in their people.
If you have such practices in your company, I keep my mouth shut. You do the right thing.
Many conversations tell me this is different in many places.
Granted, those big corporate typically don’t work with one-person shows like mine. So what I hear about their cultures is merely hearsay. And my own experience. I realize that.
The basic premise here is that, with all the focus on employee engagement and experience, companies need to invest in a culture where people feel well, appreciated, and can be themselves.Erikjan Lantink
That’s my core belief.
There are a lot of companies that do exactly that.
It’s just words, but when companies start calling their HR functions’ People & Culture, they at least intend to consider people no longer human resources, and they’re taking culture seriously.
You see that a lot these days. In a few years, most HR functions will be P & C functions.
Hopefully, that’s not just a name without substance.
People and culture are everyone’s responsibility.
And that should be the primary purpose of the function. To ensure that each leader of people takes responsibility for leading, inspiring, and growing their people.
When leaders take care of their people, customers will feel that. That’s how companies make money.
So if you’re a leader who understands that, I don’t care whether you work in corporate.
You’re doing a good job.
Your turn: Money or People?
Do more of what makes you happy!
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