Last night I heard a discussion on the radio regarding oncology treatment where they were discussing this new-to-me concept.
Based on what I heard, it would appear that a “Quality Adjusted Life Year” is an assessment based on the following question:
Is life economically viable when you consider the cost of cancer treatment against the enjoyment you get out of the extra years of life you obtain for having been on the treatment.
This is obviously a highly ethically challenging question from a medical perspective and it would be very interesting to find out what the KPIs are for such an assessment.
However, when we take this concept a few steps away from the cancer ward and into business, the discussion and assessment is still just as difficult. Mind you, I believe it is an assessment many people make (often subconsciously) every day in their consideration of where they are voluntarily going to give their effort (at work, home, family…).
How do we rate the effort that we put in against the return we get from it? This is a highly personal assessment that will follow, in many ways, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Most of the “base line” needs are met with salary.
The higher needs are however unique to each individual and the level to which they are engaged in the business for/with whom they work.
The culture of a business is directly responsible for much of this and this in turn is (in very simple terms) created by the ethos, vision and values of the people already in the business and who own and manage the business. If the business has a great culture, people will put in the discretionary effort to build and prosper whereas if the culture is toxic, the reverse is true and they can actively sabotage efforts to improve things.
The process of determining your and your staffs’ own “quality adjusted life year” when it comes to work is therefore one which needs to be directly addressed by owners and managers in any business.
Is the effort you are putting in actually assisting the business and are you getting the return you require from this effort? And, by the way, who makes this assessment?
I know in my business, I have regular discussions with one of my crew about “are you whinging to [your spouse] about work when you get home?” This was one of the major reasons they left their previous job and we were very lucky to have them join our mob. Their quality adjusted life year at their previous employer just wasn’t worth the effort.
So, when you look at yourself and your crew, consider whether the Quality Adjusted Life Years are worth living. If they are, fantastic. If they aren’t then you could be headed to the morgue earlier than you want!