- Research shows that many former employees reported that they were rarely engaged, inspired or recognized in a way which matched their professional and emotional needs.
- Today’s employee is more aware about what he expects from the employer. The items that top the list are respect, honesty, appreciation, encouragement and a feeling of being on a path of growth within the organisations that they serve.
- Most successful entrepreneurs would agree that their employees are their prize assets, to be treasured and supported.
- To succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to think about the people in your company as your potential passengers on a huge rowboat, and as a Captain of the boat you need to give your passengers compelling reason for why this journey will be interesting, rewarding and even fun.
Workshops on performance management generally end up bombarding you with terms like KPI Measurement, 360 Evaluation and other statistically based tools that you can use to get more out of people. It’s important to consider the following when business owners grapple with the question of how to get their own employees to perform more, do more and give back more:
Think of the time when someone else was calling the shots and before you became an entrepreneur.
Were they always fair, honest and engaging?
Did they inspire you, reward you and make you feel as if your role was both important and appreciated?
If they did, chances are rather high you might still be working for them and not be your own boss today.
The answer might be that many employers get distracted by their own pressures and often suffer a short-term memory loss of what it’s like to work for someone else.
Countless surveys have revealed that many former employees reported that they were rarely engaged, inspired or recognized in a way which matched their professional and emotional needs.
One ‘old school’ motivation technique for getting the most out of people was the fear- drama scenario was based on “do this or you’re fired!”
Today people who work in your company have more awareness of what they expect from an employer. The items that top the list are respect, honesty, appreciation, encouragement and a feeling of being on a path of growth within the organisations that they serve.
This is not a wish list, but common sense for any employer to embrace, empathize with and deliver. Employees today, as a rule, spend more time at the office than with their actual family. Employers who will retain their team members should not lose sight of the fact that they are the parents of these people too who devote their waking lives to make commerce possible within the enterprises.
If this sounds too warm and fuzzy to some employers who see their staff as problems, overheads and liabilities, experts suggest that the owner might be doomed. They will experience high turnover, under performance, and be only left with incompetent staff who tolerate such pre-historic attitudes in people management, and care less about taking the company from where it is today to better one tomorrow. Or worse, harbour resentment about you more every day.
Do your employees all share your vision? Do you even have one now, as many entrepreneurs may have originally had a vision, but circumstances have put them in survival mode and turned them into fear and panic merchants.
If you are committed to being in business, think about the people in your company as your potential passengers on a huge rowboat.
Where are you taking them? Is there a safe way to get there? Are they boarding willingly?
Are they excited about the journey ahead?
Do they have a reason to paddle faster, more consistently and in rhythm with the rest of the rowing crew?
Is there any reason for them to wake up earlier, prepare for duty by doing pre-warm up exercises or studying navigation which is not even their job, but you got them interested, fascinated, totally engaged and excited.
Pirates may have whipped their crews in the past, or their captives on board, in order to move their ships when the winds died down. If this technique works for you today in your business, well, good luck!
However, most successful entrepreneurs would agree that their employees are their prize assets, to be treasured and supported. Funny, weren’t pirates actually looking for treasure?
Consider another scenario, what I call the ‘BBQ Test’. Imagine that some of the employees in your company were invited to a neighbourhood barbeque. Some of the other guests who worked in different companies began to chat about their work experiences as many often do. Then they turn to one of your employees and ask the magic question, “Hey, what’s it like working for your boss, my sister in law is looking for a job, would you recommend she apply for work there?”
The test is actually a testimony of your investment in goodwill, forward thinking, deliberate campaign of nurturing your team relentlessly by creating an eco-system of sharing and inspiring a compelling future. As a business owner, you will never be the proverbial ‘fly on the wall’, but today you have the opportunity to prepare your troops for this scenario.
This is not to say that KPI metrics will be overlooked, for that is the reason you need employees. However, the nuance is if they like it, sense they are appreciated and made to also feel part of a family that respects and encourages their future in that organization.
So the next time you feel frustrated by lack of productivity within your ranks, imagine that you have a boat, and are actually selling tickets to a join you on an
As the seller, you will have to give your potential ticket buyer a compelling reason why this particular voyage will be interesting, rewarding and even fun.
You would have to explain to these ticket buyers that as captain, you would ensure that the voyage would be safe, that they as passengers and ‘crew- members’ will be well looked after, appreciated and trained to do other tasks along the journey.
They will be part of a team that loves to win, a team that feels part of a family. Could you sell tickets to your team today?
If not, you perhaps need to rethink how you are engaging your passengers and getting them prepared to willingly row into the future and win races with you because you made them love it.
Be a great captain!
The article is written by Michael J. Tolan for Arab Business Review
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