Frank Roche is a baby boomer who had a portfolio career before it was cool. He’s been a writer and a journalist, a technologist, and a corporate advisor at very Senior levels. He’s also a podcaster with two podcasts, one about postcards, and another about his journey with pancreatic cancer. Frank is also a long-term associate of mine. We met back in my early days of Punk Rock HR. He is a trusted confidant and friend. 

He is also one of America’s leading experts on executive compensation and benefits. So when I had him as a guest on my podcast recently, we discussed valuing the workforce. 

Frank explained how the hierarchy in American companies works; shareholders are at the top, followed by the company, and then the employees. It wasn’t a common idea back then (in the mid-2000s), and in many cases, is still not the case in 2020.

Although, there are some companies that do put employees first. Frank recollected about the time he was working with a CEO in the Netherlands and discussing American shareholder-oriented value. And the CEO replied, “Here’s how it works in this place, the community [comes first] and then the company.” 

So, how can we change the way leaders and executives determine the value of today’s workforce? Well, for starters, if you have a platform – use it to share your thoughts and ideas on the topic, like Frank did:  “When I was consulting and doing that kind of work, I would say to very senior people, ‘Come on!’ I don’t know whether it changed too many. But I gotta say it gave me a platform to say it in big forums when people were paying me a lot of money for my opinion. They got it from me, and I did not just cut it straight down the middle.”

Your voice matters. The people of your organization matter. Organizations are about people (or at least should be). Take some time to listen to my full conversation with Frank here. It was an insightful conversation, which I loved. I hope you do too.