Taking Care of your People–Your Most Important Asset!
One of the most important assets you possess as a business owner is the people that work for you. Now, you can say that they work for you, with you, on the same team, etc., it really does not make any difference how you characterize the relationship, the bottom line is that you pay them and they, in return, render you some type of service or work.
Failing to be in tune with them, their needs, wants, desires and expectations can cause some expensive and surprising results, normally when you least expect it. I know, you advertise the “Open Door” policy, just come in and see me, we’ll work it out, etc., etc., etc. Having had some time in large bureaucratic morasses where this was often touted, one has to wonder why it is touted? I suspect that the truth is that the door is not near as open as the Public Relations department would like you to think that it is!
I know a couple of executives that recently left their employer for a competitor. Both of these executives were considered to be “Bright and Shining, Up Coming” executives that their previous company was interested in retaining. Surprisingly, both of these individuals took the steps of calling a competitor and checking to see if other opportunities were available. To the great delight of both, the answer was YES, we have opportunities! We would love to talk to YOU! Well, you know the rest of the story– both executives visited with the competition, were pleasantly surprised at the results and elected to make the change.
Now, the real question becomes, “How come their bosses did not see this coming?” Perhaps they did and did not want to recognize it. Perhaps the boss was not really listening when a question was asked, a request was made or a comment was solicited and the answer given was not “the party line?” Of course, I don’t know what happened. What I do know is that both executives are very happy in their new jobs, the former employer is very unhappy to have lost both executives and is not in scramble mode to try and find some good replacements.
Pay attention to your people– each and every day. Listen and talk to them. See what they want and need. Often times, it is not MONEY, although that has some significant effects. It may be flexible work hours, a laptop to take home and work, a better work chair– some times the requests are not near as surprising as one would imagine, but the impact on the employee is very significant.
In today’s world, it is hard to attract and retain good employees. It is even harder to keep good employees on your team if you don’t share some significance for their needs and concerns.