- They are your primary customers. If they don’t buy into your business, they’d frustrate all your network of customers and eventually kill your business.
- They are your helpers. I’ve seen quite a lot of employers treating their staff like they are doing them a favor for employing them. The truth be told: you needed them because the work was becoming too bulky for only you to bear, and you’d never achieve your desire for a global business working alone. So, appreciate them for choosing you out of all available options.
- They have options. Don’t treat your employees as if they are with you simply because there are no jobs out there. They have a choice, and if you don’t acknowledge that, it won’t be long before you see them drop an envelope with you that they are deactivating their services with you for a better operator.
- They love to grow. Organizations are built around the tasks of daily operations of getting tasks done, setting and meeting targets, expansion of customer base, ensuring repeat customers…all that stuff. When you overuse your computer for some boring tasks, it would simply hang and wait for you to combine the ctrl + alt + delete keys to force some programs to close, or to reboot the system. You don’t need to force your employees to ‘reboot’ by killing them with the boredom of operations. Give them new challenges and refresher trainings to keep them fresh and updated on their job.
- They love to share in the glory. While the CEO (or whoever it is for your organization!) may be the face of the organization, he is not the entire body. The face is only beautiful because the hand dressed it, the eyes helped it to realize the need for a makeover, the brain gave it what combination to wear and the legs took it wherever it could be seen. Always acknowledge the contributions of your employees or subordinates to your success.
- They love to be understood. We all have issues as humans. And the selfish nature in us believes that our problems are the biggest – except of course for the few who have cultivated and developed positive thinking as a lifestyle. Before you pounce on your employees like a ravenous tiger, care enough to find out why s/he did what s/he did. If you are indeed caring, you’d be able to observe if it were all faked or not. And if it is becoming habitual, you may need to read the next point.
- They love to be disciplined. Where there are no rules, people become slaves to indulgence. They resolve to live by their instincts rather than by their conscience. They become animalistic, barbaric and uncontrollable. Understanding your employees therefore requires that you discipline them as due, within the confine of the agreed codes and conducts of the organization. I researched a particular hospital sometime ago to find out why employees don’t stay around for long. All the interviewees who were ex-workers in the hospital gave the same answers – the Medical Director just metes out punishments according to his mood. Any slight errors in conduct – like 5 minutes’ lateness – could mean two weeks suspension. They have to bear with insults day-in-day-out, and they are badly remunerated. The most loyal staff worked 6 months. I’m still wondering what the future holds for this hospital with this kind of disciplinary actions.
- They love to be involved. Often, a supervisor or CEO may have a brilliant idea that will surely move the company forward. He calls his staff together and communicates so passionately, persuasively and promisingly. He may even have carefully drafted the roles and responsibilities of each employee, and worked out a new rewards and remuneration plan should things work out. However, he may be surprised after his brilliant presentation that they only managed to give him some clap. The CEO may have resolved the issues for them, but so long as he didn’t involve them, it still remains The CEO’s Idea, and not Our Idea.
- They are humans. This means that they are flesh; and blood runs through their veins. One language I’m so sure blood understands is love and respect. Even when you abuse a machine, it would give it back to you – by refusing to corporate. How much more a human. Love your employees. Treat them with respect. Be cautious, courteous and conscientious in your dealings with them. They are your employees today, but you never can tell how far they’d go later in life. The greatest CEO’s in the world ensure that all their subordinates are as successful as they are. Ask Bill Gates. Don’t despise or spitefully use them. The only room that can never be completely filled is the room for self improvement. If they don’t stop getting better, they’d eventually catch up with you. Trust me!
- They love trust. Employees can only thrive in an atmosphere of trust. Never develop a habit or reputation for not being able to keep to your promises. Keep to the terms of employment. And if there is need for any adjustments, discuss it over with them, present the facts, and seek to obtain their approval. Never veto a midway change of plans on your staff. Also, never cheat on your customers. If you don’t treat the customers well or you extort them, you are sending a wrong message to your staff. What happens in Lagos may also happen in Los Angeles. If you betray their trust, you’ve simply lost their loyalty. They may be smiling with you, but, trust me, their heart is somewhere else.
Together, we can raise a truly productive workforce, and build a truly productive nation.
To your productivity,
D. A. B.
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