Managing people as a passion.

Managing people as a passion.

Beata Drzazga, an experienced business mentor, talks about how people management contributes to the development of enterprises and becomes a source of professional satisfaction.


An enterprise, by definition, has different goals than its employees, and in addition, the goals of different employees or different units in the organization are sometimes contradictory. How to create an effective organism out of a mixture of conflicting interests?


The question suggests that the company’s goals and employees’ goals must contradict. They don’t have to, but unfortunately they are sometimes. I have even seen organizations where everyone was at war against everyone. It is interesting that under certain conditions they can survive and develop quite dynamically. Companies with a monopolistic position as well as some offices, schools and universities are known from the bad working atmosphere. In the case of commercial companies, sooner or later, employees’ awareness of the belief that everyone is driving in the same wheelchair is more common. Fighting in a competitive market precludes arguments and wasting resources. The effort of the entire team must be directed to achieving the company’s goals, otherwise everyone starts to lose, and most of all – the owners. That is why their task is to promote the company’s goals among employees and, generally speaking, to create a personnel strategy that will allow them to achieve success.


A mentor or business advisor is usually lucky to look at the company from the outside. Therefore, he acts objectively and can avoid mental pitfalls. From his position, it is much easier to judge which goals are in line with the company’s strategy, which will help eliminate conflicts.


So first the strategy of the entire company is created, and then the personnel strategy?


Yes. Let’s start with the fact that the personnel strategy must be an element of a properly formulated strategy for the entire company. Let’s imagine that in the 1960s there is a company whose mission is to produce the best steam locomotives in the world. The company employs loyal, committed employees who are well motivated and rewarded. He cares about quality, constantly introduces innovations, and invests in marketing. However, failure is inevitable. A poorly formulated mission leads to the fact that the company invests in the wrong projects, hires the wrong specialists, and introduces innovations that have no meaning for customers. They are already looking for something completely different. Unsuccessful projects cause quarrels and misunderstandings in the team. There are financial problems that force staff reductions. No personal strategy, even the most brilliant one, can save the situation.


We can laugh at this example, but if we had moved back to the 1960s, not everything would have been so obvious to us. Today’s companies face similar choices. For example, should you invest in a metaverse company presence? It is possible that in a few years the metaverse technology will become the new standard that will replace the Internet. But it may as well not catch on, like, for example, 3D TV. However, the decision to hire the right specialists must be made now. In a dozen or so years, when everything becomes obvious, business strategy experts will make fun of those who have gone the wrong way, just as today they make fun of those who several years ago said that the iPhone is a device with no future – after all, no one will he wanted to buy a phone that doesn’t even have a keypad.


So if we formulate the mission correctly, we will make the task easier for ourselves and our employees?


Of course. We can have long discussions about motivating employees, creating an atmosphere in the workplace or work-life ballance, but somewhere at the beginning of the whole process, it is the company’s management that is responsible for making employees meaningful things and creating added value. If it succeeds, it will be possible to properly reward and motivate employees. You won’t have to release them in a moment. They will feel they are needed because they will see them contributing to the company’s success. The organization will grow, so it will be easy to promote the best, financial and non-financial incentive tools will be available. Breaking down a growing pie is always easier.


But how exactly to translate the company’s strategy into an effective HR policy


The personnel strategy must focus on the process of creating value for the client. We need to understand exactly where this value arises. And it can arise in unexpected places, so especially in larger organizations this issue can be complicated. In simple terms, we need to know where the company’s revenues are generated and where costs are generated. Employment of personnel is usually one of the most important items in the company’s costs, therefore we must constantly make sure that these costs are properly related to revenues.


If we understand the value-added process, we will be able to hire the right employees, secondly, motivate and reward those who contribute most to the company’s success, and thirdly, respond appropriately when some employees do not participate sufficiently in the implementation company strategy.


One of the biggest dilemmas that an entrepreneur can face is the decision whether to lay off employees when the situation on the market is deteriorating.


Of course, keeping employees in a situation where the company does not have the resources to do so is a very bad idea. This is a matter of math, not emotion. However, I will come back for a moment to what I said a moment ago. It never makes sense to fire someone who creates added value. This means that the need to fire an employee is almost always the result of mistakes made by management. Either the adopted strategy is wrong or it is not implemented well. In addition, since the problem stems from a strategic level, dismissal of an employee, while necessary, will usually not solve the problem.


Ending cooperation with an employee is an event that evokes a lot of emotions, but my experience as a business advisor shows that in well-functioning companies such situations are extremely rare. It’s just the opposite there. If the personnel strategy is in line with the properly formulated mission of the company, people management is a source of great satisfaction. The company as a whole is developing, employees are also developing on a professional and personal level, the atmosphere in the team is very good, and the employees carry out their tasks effectively and efficiently.