Humans are born with an intuitive knowledge of what balances a system and when red lines are crossed. For example: if the give and take in a system is unbalanced, people recognize this, actively or unconsciously, and can tell there is some level of injustice or imbalance. Even if they can’t name it directly, the feeling that something isn’t quite right is one that everyone knows.
If give and take are balanced in an organization, tasks are distributed as fairly as possible and according to competences and skills; efforts are not carefully balanced against benefits and additional topics are not immediately fended off.
In organisations like these, the balance between that which is given and that which is taken, and vice-versa, is a given.
Employees and leadership work together openly and free from fear that the other is trying to take advantage.
If that balance is given, you can tell by looking for the following:
- Employees are motivated to do their work, despite that it may take a bit longer at times, if there are emergencies.
- Appreciation is not just an empty word, but something practiced at all levels of the organization.
- Leadership recognizes the achievements of the employees.
- Employees like taking on responsibility.
If that balance is not given, you can tell by the following:
- Employees consider that their rewards and pay are not in line with their efforts.
- Distribution of work in teams and projects is considered unfair and imbalanced.
- Leaders are not aware of the needs of their employees and don’t spend time considering them.
If left unchecked over the longer term, such imbalances lead to situations where people find their own way of levelling them, none of which are positive for an organization: less work is performed, there is little motivation to extend work efforts in bottleneck periods, potentially leading to the final consequence of businesses losing valuable resources.