Why You Need to Put People Over Profit

Last modified 03 May 2023
Categories: Organisations & Culture
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Why You Need to Put People Over Profit

In today’s profit-driven business environment, it is of little surprise that generating sales and making money is at the forefront of most leader’s minds. At the end of the day, strong revenue and high profit margins are what makes many businesses successful, and is essential for businesses to be able to grow.

While these may be the desired outcome that many businesses are after, there is an argument that they should focus elsewhere in order to achieve them. Author and founder of Sevenly, Dale Partridge has an interesting view on this, with his 2015 book People Over Profit going against the traditional business focuses we have become accustomed to.

3 reasons you should put people over profit

In his book, Partridge argues that putting people over profit is the secret behind revolutionising the marketplace. His thesis is that making this mindset change will transform it into one that values honesty and transparency. See below for three reasons why you too should adopt this people over profit strategy as a leader.

1. Staff performance is key to your success

As a leader, you likely already understand that it is the performance of your staff that drives the success of your organisation. Putting the needs and wellbeing of your employees before that of the organisation can have a remarkable impact on your bottom line.

When staff are happy, motivated and driven within the workplace, their performance will be far higher than those who feel undervalued. It is important to remember that your staff work to achieve profit in the first place, therefore they should always be your first priority.

Read more: 4 Advantages of an empathetic leadership style

2. It assists in building a trustworthy reputation

When the focus is on people over profit, we are more likely to be accountable and transparent in our business dealings. With people as your number one priority, telling the complete truth should be your only option, and trust will build organically upon that.

An organisation that is known as trustworthy, honest and transparent is also more likely to build loyalty among key stakeholders. Putting people over profit creates a cycle that results in customers and the communities in which you do business choosing you over your competitors. As a trustworthy brand, you are also able to build powerful business relationships that can take your business to an even greater level of success.

3. It leads to greater business opportunity

As noted, a strong reputation for trustworthiness allows you to build powerful business relationships. But in addition to that, putting people over profit also ensures you take the time to listen to the key stakeholders in your organisation.

Listening will help you to understand not only your employees more, but the market in which you are working in, and your consumers as well. In turn, this increased understanding paired with the powerful business relationships can lead to far greater business opportunities.

As Dale Partridge puts it in his book, “Generosity is less like an arrow and more like a boomerang, it comes back to you.”

What do you think?

Have you read Dale Partridge’s book People Over Profit? I’d love to hear what leaders around the world think of this concept, and whether you believe it is a realistic and effective approach, or not? Comment below to share your views and join the AIB conversation.

This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following source was used to compile this article: People Over Profit

*The Australian Institute of Business (AIB) is Australia’s largest provider of MBAs. Source Ready, B. (2023) Domestic Enrolments Surged During COVID After International Students Locked Out, MBA News. Available at: MBA News.

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