Jesus told this parable about caring for Sheep: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is
because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.” How about in today’s work context?
Two parents, both senior business managers, are hiring a baby sitter for their two young children. What’s their concern? That the sitter will really care for their kids. At separate workplaces, each parent is interviewing candidates for a supervisory role in their departments. Yet, neither puts the care of the work unit’s staff as their highest priority. Un-engagement and disengagement of staff follows. Wolves start scattering the flock. Non-Kin are just not valuable.
Most firms lack a standard for staff care, just legal restraints on sexual harassment, physical abuse, sexism and racism. Otherwise, care is delegated and not followed up. Last year, Gallup Inc. put US un-engagement at 66% and abysmal elsewhere. Training of managers is not moving that needle.
The reception walls where the two senior managers work have mission statements reading “People are our most important asset.” But that asset’ doesn’t merit an interview question for candidates to care for it. If we don’t institutionalize caring, with rewards and consequences, anything else is a costly wheel spin. So, how do we institutionalize caring? We…
- identify what people want from their boss and the firm
- measure satisfaction or denial of needs and desires
- give managers feedback on need gaps, with strategies to
- put managers on a development track, then resurvey 3X a
- upgrade job descriptions to include staff need satisfaction
- make need satisfaction a big % of performance evaluation
- hinge bonuses on ‘going the extra mile’ for staff
- correlate need satisfaction with productivity and profit.
- reward good performance and correct anything short of loving
When Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself’” he wipes away the difference between kin and non-kin. If we hire managers who don’t care about their staff, we invite the un-engagement that follows. Yes, Jesus wants us to make more profit. But His way.
John Pisula, Grand Knight: [email protected]
Joe Cox, Council Lecturer: [email protected]