There is a secret to running a successful business. You may be surprised when I tell you what it is because it is so basic it can be overlooked. Are you ready for the secret?
Be genuinely interested in your employees!
Of course, there are many aspects to creating and running a successful business. Many business owners think of such things as being passionate about their product or service. Or being hard-working and burning the midnight oil. These factors are important too. But I bring this one up of being genuinely interested in your employees because employees are the cogwheels that make your business run. And without happy and productive employees, you cannot grow and expand your business. So, let’s look at this more closely as to what I mean.
What Does a Job Mean to An Employee?
2020 and 2021 have been challenging to say the least. We have gone from lockdowns, then businesses opening with restrictions, and back and forth. It has taken its toll on small business owners and employees alike. With all the chaos, a business owner may forget about what a job means to an employee.
Research by Glassdoor Economic Research found that compensation and benefits were consistently rated among the least important factors of workplace happiness. Ranking higher was the culture and values of the organization, followed closely by the quality of leadership and career opportunities.
You the business owner, have the challenge to build a successful company with satisfied employees who in turn, bring value to the business. How does interest play into this?
It Takes a Lot of Interest
When anyone sits down to do a job and do it well, they must be highly interested in what they are doing. For example, when someone starts a new job it is exciting and challenging so they are likely to be very interested in what they are doing. But what happens when they come to the job day after day, week after week, month after month, and they do pretty much the same thing? Do you think they lose interest in their job? Now, add to that all the distractions surrounding them in the world today. They drive to work and hear bad news on the radio. They get their paycheck and see more taxes being taken out of their earnings. Financial stress begins to take its toll on home life. How can they be interested in their work?
It is your executive leadership that is going to keep them interested in their work and I have some tips on how you can do this.
- Daily Inspections
Doing daily inspections shows your employees that you are interested in what they are doing. If no one ever inspects what they do, it devalues their work. They can begin to believe that what they do on their job doesn’t really matter. So first off, let them know what they do is important enough to you for you to see how they are doing at their job. When you inspect, show genuine interest in what they are doing. Now and then, ask them how the job is going? Is there anything they need help with? Is there any training they need that would help them do their job better? If your employees are working remotely, you can still do daily inspections. However, if daily inspections are not realistic, work out when you can do your inspections.
- Give Your Employees Attainable Goals
Having a goal and a purpose for achieving that goal keeps the fire alive. Make sure your employees have daily, weekly, and even yearly targets of production to reach for their department and their job. They must be attainable targets. If you give them goals that are near impossible to reach, you will drive them down in the other direction towards apathy.
- Keep Your Employees Briefed
Don’t forget, as covered above, the culture and values of the organization ranked ABOVE pay. Employees feel more accomplished when they know their work is contributing to the overall goals and values of the organization. And don’t make the mistake of thinking this isn’t true all the way down to the janitor, it is! The only way employees know how their job is contributing to the whole of the organization is if you keep them briefed on how the organization is doing. If you skip briefings, they will believe they are not important enough to really amount to much in the organization.
So, whether you do weekly or monthly briefings with all employees present, and whether you conduct these in person or remotely, they are VERY important. Do not get so busy you skip them.
- Beware of “Bad News”
Here is another interesting factor. A business can be doing very well. But let’s say one customer comes in and makes a complaint. Where does everyone’s attention go to? The complaint of course! For this reason, it is important to make the successes and positive reviews broadly known.
As the executive, you must keep your own interest high in achieving your goals. At the same time, you must inject interest into your employees. The way you do this — be interested in your employees and how they are doing on their jobs.
I would love to hear any successes you have by using the above tips.