Are You Giving Key Employees The Key?

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If you failed to teach a


key employee 


something important


today, are you


missing the boat?


     With what I presume to be 55% of American employees being UNhappy [See yesterday’s blog post below this one], there’s very little “happiness-transition” wiggle room for a business owner or manager to exercise. The first important step, though, in the direction of kicking up productivity is to more fully engage employees in the day-to-day operations of your business. 

     Should you flat out trust the one person who seems most likely to head off to a competitor? Should you risk sharing critical product development or service expense information with people who you’re not confident will even be there in six months? Does it make any sense to encourage the employee your classmates would vote “Most likely to be brain-dead,” who you’ve kept around to do the slug work nobody else will touch? Sometimes the least likely people rise to the occasion. Think on that one.

     How about — instead of asking those questions about your employees — you ask some questions of your SELF? Where, for example, are you and your business headed right now? Where do you expect to be in five years? How (what’s the process you’ll use) do you expect to survive the next five months? What will you be doing differently then than you’re doing today? Why are you waiting five months?

     Keeping on that track for another minute, what’s something new you’ve learned about your business today? What’s something new you’ve learned about your SELF today? (Yes, both events did in fact occur; you just blocked them out or didn’t give yourself enough credit for the discoveries.)

     How will any of that new information help you tomorrow? When was the last time you and your family depended on someone else’s decision making? When was the last time you put yourself in your employees’ shoes and thought about their perspective of your business and your decision making? How do you think dependency feels?

     When was the last time you stopped long enough to teach an employee something important that she or he can use to do a better job, or be able to take home to share with family? Do you take active interest in your people every day? Why not? They may never admit it and you may never believe it, but all studies ever done would reinforce that you can be sure they take active interest in you every day, probably every hour! 

     So, that means you’re obliged to return the interest? No. You’re obliged to do everything you can possibly do to cultivate employee enthusiasm for the work they are doing. When financial reward is not possible, emotional support and psychological reward and teaching by example have to suffice. And if you’re consistent about making those money-substitutes work, they will. All human beings need reinforcement and reassurance. Employees need it from their bosses. Are you on it?                                                                              

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