Recognizing the Value of Your Employees
I have read plenty of articles about different management styles and the pros vs. cons of those styles.
When I over-simplify my concept of leadership methods, I think of two types. Those who focus primarily on development of their employees while utilizing positive rewards. Then, I think of those who use fear and negative reinforcement to produce their desired results.
Both styles can be effective when used properly in the correct situations. At the same time, I have found that a hybrid model is usually the best. We’ll come back to management styles after while.
I am writing this article about my friend Chris, who now owns Elite Staffing Solutions.
You see, Chris used to be an employee of a business, which is now a competitor of his own company.
He explained to me that he absolutely killed himself for that previous employer. In fact, He told me that he worked just as hard for this business as he does for himself.
I’m pretty sure he would still be there today if he was treated with the professionalism that everyone deserves.
Now that he has his own employees, Chris makes it a point to acknowledge every associate’s contribution.
At the same time, personnel is the biggest liability to almost any business… The acknowledgement of his team’s contribution to his business’ success is important for his perspective as a business owner. It is also important for the employees. After all, each and every one of us has the desire to be appreciated, even admired in the workplace.
As we speak about the liability of employees, the basics are the time, money, and energy spent to train and work with them until they can independently contribute to the company’s goals and initiatives in a minimally-supervised environment.
Every time an employee is lost, everything that is invested into onboarding that employee is lost.
That same employee could now become a competitor or work for competitors in the future.
Not to mention, more time, money, and resources must be invested to training a new employee, which is an entirely new liability.
One of the most detrimental setbacks a small business owner could experience is to invest time, energy, and emotion into developing an employee only to have them use that investment to help a competitor.
This is why it is important to hire right, then focus on retaining the good staff that one has put together.
One of the best tools to retain staff is to recognize and acknowledge their valuable contribution.
Back to management styles… I know Chris has a pretty strong alpha-type personality, but I also see that he does not intend to use an authoritarian-style unless it is necessary. I’m sure he understands that diplomacy is more profitable in his environment.
I personally believe that positivity generates productivity. At the same time, kindness can be mistaken for weakness and I’m sure the ESS staff would tell you that Chris is not always the sweetest boss to work for. I do believe he uses negative reinforcement when it is absolutely necessary. I have just found that a positive workplace persona creates an environment where less negative reinforcement is needed.
No matter how great an employee is, they are just the same as their bosses, human. We, as owners and managers must maintain a humane perspective. After all, we are in the business of people. We work with them, we work for them, and they work for us. As we move forward and work together, always keep in mind that every member of the team and every temp worker is a human being with feelings, responsibilities, and their own life stresses. Even if an employee must be let go, it is important for us as leaders to treat everyone in a dignified and humane manner.
Acting in an understanding and humane manner while maintaining a strong drive towards your business goals can be the key to success.
I’m sure it feels good to go home at the end of the day knowing that those who are helping Chris succeed with his business are ending their day satisfied, going to bed fulfilled, and waking up ready to work hard for the business that appreciates and treats them well the next day.
Recognizing the Value of Your Employees
article by Mike Gamache
Blogger, Colorado Mountain Life
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