Humanism Counts

There is a great article on LinkedIn on the value of humanism in the workplace that I want to share with you.

It’s author is Bob Aubrey, a leadership development professional with several books out. He critiques Amazon’s lack of humanistic management and contrasts it with Alibaba. His conclusion? Humanism counts.  See:

According to Bob – “Amazon has gone dangerously off-track for a twenty-first century company where a humanistic workplace culture is just common sense.”  It’s no longer acceptable to hire masses of people, grind them up and spit them out when they burn out.

He contrasts this with Alibaba, an Asian company with twice the sales of Amazon. Alibaba prioritizes customers, but then puts its employees second. The shareholders come third.  His investors don’t seem to mind that employees matter more than they do.  Another thing Alibaba does is it gives .3% of its income away to make the world a better place. In fact, the reason they are in business is to make the world a better place.

Where the employment philosophy of Amazon appears to be Social Darwinism, the employment philosophy of Alibaba is Social Responsibility. The leaders talk about their company as if it’s an ecosystem. As dependent on their clients and customers as they are their employees and their partners. Their business works because they all work together. If one part of the interrelated dynamic fails, they all fail.

This isn’t to say that autonomy isn’t important. It is. However, that autonomy is embedded in the social structure of our society and the businesses we work for. Pretending that the individuals don’t matter, all that matters is the bottom line is, incredibly shortsighted.

Humans matter in business.  The humans that are your customers matter. The humans who run your business matter. And the humans your business partner with matters. Without humans, you have no business. Recognizing that is just good business.

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