The ratings for British import “Downton Abbey” have been higher than they have been for that American-made return to the 1960s series “Mad Men.” One reason is that we are learning important lessons from how the Crawley family is managing to balance tradition with change. Those are lessons we need every day in this second decade of the 21st century to operate our organizations, both profit and non-profit.
For example, in “Downton Abbey,” we witness how the family was determined to provide for the health and financial security of their loyal servants, despite financial threats. Likewise, through experimentation we are becoming adept at recognizing our employees’ accomplishments in ways not directly related to hefty raises and bonuses. Our core value of valuing employees remains the same. What has changed is the size of our financial resources.
So, instead of five-figure increments in compensation, we might be rewarding them with opportunities to develop additional skills. The receptionist may be released several hours a week from the desk to create and post content for the website. Or, we are rotating who attends the trade shows so that more employees can gain a deeper knowledge of the industry and develop contacts. There may be an internal mentoring system, with senior staff having the opportunity to pick up the latest in technology from Millennials. The latter, on the other hand, are being coached on how to converse in the language of business.
The reality is that human beings value their traditions. The challenge is to preserve what we can as we figure out what an ever-changing economy demands.
Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you, in this era of turbulence, to a complimentary consultation for marketing, public relations, partnerships, special events, and social media, firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-4868.