There is an acronym that all businesses and organisations should remember – the 3P’s.

People before

Product (or service) before

Profit (or performance).

In other words, if you ensure your that your people are skilled, capable and motivated, they will in turn produce a sound product (or service), which will lead to a successful, high performing and ultimately profitable business.

But how many businesses and organisations think in this way?  Many have too much ‘top down’ thinking, they strive for profit and performance without thinking about whether they have the right people engaged doing the right things.

Some organisations pay huge salaries and big bonuses to focus staff on what needs to be achieved, and while bonuses can act as an ‘extrinsic motivator’, in reality they only provide a short term ‘Hawthorn’ effect and are soon forgotten. Others organise staff parties, off site team building events and regular social gatherings to reward their staff but for those that already work long hours they can take them further way from their family and home life.

So what does putting your People before Product and Profit mean?

Organisations who truly put their people first have a number of characteristics.  For example, they:

  • Support their managers and staff to develop skills that will make them more effective as well as enable them to be more transferable.
  • Are clear about what they expect from their managers and staff.
  • Trust their people to do their job and give them the freedom to make their own decisions (within guidelines).
  • Involve their staff in decisions that affect them.
  • Listen and pay attention to what their staff say, their concerns, and ideas for improvement, and ACT on them.
  • Respond flexibly to the needs of their staff.

In addition, they recognise that the organisations culture is dictated by the behaviour of their leaders and managers, and work hard to support them to develop the necessary behaviours to enable them to act as excellent role models.

Any organisation that really wishes to improve their performance must start with their people, their skills, capabilities and motivation.  After all, no one ever won the football Premiership with a team of players from League One.