CONDITIONING: If reward is entitlement! –What’s risk?

People have been more conditioned from infancy to understand rewards. Today’s unemployment figures and the uncertainty of business revival and survival raise panic and fearful questions about how people are being conditioned to understand risk more than ever before. Business too is also being conditioned to expand risks taking.

Business conditioning: people are our greatest asset and our greatest risk is ROI on salary investment

1.)    Why should any business owner risk their money, their time and their investment in people for what appears to be a marginal business return today?

2.)    Will current employees leave once the economy picks up?

3.)    How can business get the best possible return on your investment in people?

4.)    Many businesses share rewards, is there a way to share risks?

People conditioning! People all start their working careers thinking ‘how am I going to make money?’ Then somewhere along the way people get conditioned that it’s all about ‘finding a job and working for a company. Dependence on the company because you’re doing your job often leads to malaise and apathy in good times. Malaise… ‘why work smarter and harder, I’m doing what they ask me to do?’  Apathy… ‘who cares, I’ve got x years with the company?’ While monetary rewards and job security seem to be an entitlement in good times, people are more awake, ready to listen and tuned into the risks of losing income and possibly their jobs now during tough times.

Business Owner conditioning! ‘Cut salaries, incentives, benefits, means cutting people. Do it early and quick. Hire back when business picks up.’ These thoughts are very unsettling today when survival itself is at stake. Given the economic ‘conditioning’ of today we need to understand more about not only sharing business rewards but how do we share business risks as well?

Let’s start with a business ‘conditioning’ thought, ‘Those who know how will always have a job working for those who know why.’ How many people really understand all the risks of doing business today? You’d be right to say, if they’re unemployed right now, they understand it better then most. Everyone employed or not, is paying a lot more attention to the fine balance of their cash income -reward and their cash ‘outgo –risks.’

Changing our business ‘conditioning’ about risks and rewards is an imperative for business survival today. If rewards are shared, why not risks beyond job income and security. Actually we can rule out job security today, and if we do that then we’re on a ‘conditioning’ path to change risks and possibly a whole new way we do business.

Physiologist, Dr. Milton Erickson said You can only get a person to change when they feel they “own” the change. The key word is “own.” The rewards of ownership are very well conditioned in us. So let’s start to increase understanding risks with employee ownership in the business. I’m not talking Stakeholder or Shareholder, while they address a form of risks and rewards they are more reward oriented in that you either perform or you withdraw your investment with little concern about long term success. We all understand that a business owner doesn’t have the luxury of doing a poor job or being able to withdraw invested money very easily.

To make the ‘risks’ transformation, business must begin to condition everyone to be more open with complete involvement in vision, planning, performance and return on investment. WIIFWe as a company is a continuous improvement process that increases everyone’s understanding of how we all share risks as well as rewards. Ultimately the transformation will eliminate employees and generate mutual benefit for everyone as business partners.

In next month’s follow up, we’ll talk about some how to do’s, starting with Performance Previews. Got a suggestion, comment or   question? –Thank You

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