I’ve had a variety of great (and interesting) jobs over the past two decades since I’ve entered the workforce and I’ve learned a lot from both sides of the desk. I’ve also had the spectrum of amazing bosses from those who were Yoda to my Luke Skywalker to those who after one year I didn’t just walk out the door, I ran away as fast as I could and left a me-shaped hole in the wall.
A business is only as good as those who build the company and interact with its customers, and that means you are putting a whole lot of trust and faith in your employees. The bad ones kill the potential for returning patrons; the good ones can bring in thousands of dollars and help grow your business. The link between great employees staying on staff is the connection and affirmation of someone in leadership.
Are you investing in your employees?
Let’s first talk about money. Yes, it’s important. Actually, it may be the determining factor as to who is applying to work for you in the first place. You know the old saying, “You get what you pay for?” Well, many times it holds true in the workplace. If you want someone with experience and professional skills, you are going to have to offer a competitive salary.
Next, if you want to keep employees with the experience and skills you need to grow, let alone maximizing a return on all of the time and money that you have invested into training them to be an asset to your company, you especially need to offer them compensation packages that may include stock options, bonuses, and other meaningful incentives or a show level of appreciation for their value to your business.
But we all know that money isn’t everything. Encouragement and team building (groan, isn’t that a four letter word?) are just as, if not more, important. Purpose is a great catalyst for success. Author and former U.S. Navy Captain Mike Abrashoff states that, “Some leaders feel that by keeping people in the dark, they maintain a measure of control. But that is a leader’s folly and an organization’s failure. Secrecy spawns isolation, not success. Knowledge is power, yes, but what leaders need is collective power, and that requires collective knowledge. I found that the more people knew what the goals were, the better buy-in I got – and the better the results we achieved together.”
What if have a disgruntled employee?
Well, hopefully you have a great employee handbook in place stating that they can’t work for a competitor or share any trade secrets. Secondly, hire an experienced employment lawyer to make sure that your business procedures are within compliance of state and federal laws.
Great employees are extensions of your business. Invest in them and you will have great returns. Neglect encouraging, respecting, and valuing them and you will have to install a revolving door to your company.