Your People Don’t Care How Much You Know

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Your People Don’t Care How Much You Know - Workers Care

By Daniel Green

‘Your people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’

It’s a quote credited to many over the years including former US President Teddy Roosevelt and famous radio speaker Earl Nightingale.

Knowledge is Power

Knowledge is power. It’s the currency that our society is built on. The very bricks that hold up the collective roofs of our civilisation. So it comes as little surprise that those who hold the information fall naturally into our leadership positions. Their expertise is needed to get things done. We couldn’t have a neurosurgeon running a construction site after all.

But is just knowledge enough? Can mere competence ensure the success of a given endeavour? Some would argue yes. And they do have a point. An army in battle is a great example: no competence – no success. But we’re not soldiers and this isn’t a war.

The Brilliant Jerk

How about another angle. Have you ever worked with a ‘brilliant jerk’? Someone so talented that management overlooks their interpersonal skills [or complete lack thereof] because they bring in so much business. These individuals are often empowered by the belief that knowledge alone is power. The feelings of others are frequently left in the dust. This wears thin after a short while and colleagues are often left feeling under-appreciated.

The Secret’s Out

No matter how much they pretend not to, human beings secretly love personal care and attention. We’re a lot like plants actually: we flourish when we’ve been well loved. We respond more to those who seem to care for us than those that only want us to do things for them. Colleagues of both Roosevelt and Nightingale will attest to that.

Knowledge is absolutely necessary. Without it things cannot get done. It’s the process, the method, the way. Knowledge is the how. But care is equally important. It’s the reason for doing the thing in the first place. It’s the extra-miling, the late nights, the weekends. Care is the why.

A Perfect Example

Perfect Labour Hire is such an organisation. GM Tim Fitzgibbon and his HR colleagues Andrew and Jose genuinely care – about their clients, their workers and their team. I know because I’ve seen it. You don’t supply rail workers to John Holland, Downer and Lend Lease without going the extra mile. On more than one occasion Perfect Labour Hire has paid to put a worker through the RIW course and medical because they believe in the worker. They’re the only labour hire supplier to give a worker of the month award. They work hard to show their appreciation. In all my years of employ I’ve never seen workers and clients speak so highly of a business. Not because Perfect Labour Hire knows the most in their field. It’s because they care.

‘Your people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’

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