Invest in Teams
There is a simple thought experiment I first saw in Fred Kofman’s “The Meaning Revolution” Think about what it would take for your team members to leave your company and instead go work at a place known for its toxic culture, dysfunctional leadership, ambiguous goals, and misaligned teams. How much more would those employees have to be offered? What is the real dollar value of that decision?
The single reason that number isn’t front and center in your company’s finances every day is that the labor market doesn’t change on a dime. Corrections (people changing jobs) play out over weeks and months. But that value-to-team-health equation is present every day in one very important place: the minds of every one of your team members. And as a leader — whatever that value difference is — if you’re not investing in your teams today you’re already paying it, and even still your best people will leave in the long run.
It could not be more of a clear, financial decision for companies of any size. Unhealthy teams — or even just disengaged, poorly aligned teams — are at once unnecessary costs to your organization today and risks that are almost guaranteed to tip over into disruptive and costly departures in the long run.
if you’re not investing in your teams today you’re already paying for it, and even still your best people will leave in the long run.
It makes no strategic, financial sense to build a business that way. And yet it happens every day. Team health, employee engagement, authentic individual-to-company alignment — these are seen as intangibles, not the “real business.” Why? Because of short-sighted incentives and fear-based management. Companies that grow without real investment in teams are simply playing the game of trying to cash out, in one way or another, before the thing falls apart. Is it a way you could do it? Of course. Would we bet on those types of companies? Absolutely not.
And this perspective isn’t unique to when the labor market is good. If you’re comforting yourself right now by thinking “Well if the market cools down people won’t have as many options,” examine that strategy. All that has changed is the timeline. The variables and outcomes remain the same.
At Trelliswork we’re betting our business on providing real, tangible, measurable value to teams and companies. That value is the difference between building high-functioning teams capable of innovation, resilience, persistence, and execution, and those that are simply chasing the next short-term, incremental scrap of value. The former are our people. The latter don’t matter and won’t survive what’s to come.