Keeping Your Staff Happy - what many employers are missing.
Greetings, and welcome to another blog post by yours truly, Caesar Rondina, the author of "The Author's Pen." I love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to leave a comment. Tonight's topic is based on sound business practices. Keeping Your Staff Happy - what many employers are missing. I owned a successful two-way commercial radio business for seventeen years. I kept it for some time after becoming a career firefighter before I eventually sold it. I loved being in business for myself. However, I also loved being a volunteer firefighter and felt ready for a career change. As a volunteer, I took this time to take numerous fire fighting courses and EMT courses and went on to become a State Of Connecticut Licensed Paramedic. All before taking the exam and becoming a career firefighter.
I could take the time to do all this because I had a successful business. One that granted me the time to continue these studies. The question is, how did I achieve that? It was not easy and took some time. I learned early in my career that taking care of my business clients was paramount. However, taking care of my staff was equally important. The main rule is business, or at least it should be, is the one I followed. It goes like this:
Without us, there is no you, and without you, there is no us.
What does that mean? Simply put, it means when there is no business, there is no staff. When there is no staff, there is no business. Therefore, they both need one another. Any company that takes the attitude that they do not require you, the worker bees, is doomed for failure. Notice I use the term staff rather than employee. I believe that the term employee does not make an individual feel like part of the team. The term employee leads a person to feel they are easily replaceable. However, the word staff makes an individual feel like they are part of the team. The reality is, running a business is a team effort. A strong marriage between the company and its staff. I followed that principle after I retired from the fire service and finished my working career in corporate management for a commercial ambulance service. All of this while writing books and doing public speaking. I learned a great deal about people along this journey.
Although business practices vary from state to state, there are some basic principles to having good business practices. An intelligent business not only looks after the needs of its clients, but they also look after the needs of its staff. Let's take a closer look.
In any relationship, some basic principles must apply for the relationship to be successful. Some of these are trust, appreciation, courtesy, and communication. Think about where you work. I will bet you one or more of these principles do not apply at your job, and it aggregates the heck out of you. An unhappy staff member is NOT a productive staff member. Of course, there are people who will not be happy no matter what you do. When handed a finger, want the hand. When given the hand, they want the arm. However, there are rare, and do not represent the general working population.
When we break this down, it means most staff members want to be trusted. They want to be appreciated. They want to be treated with respect and courtesy. Most of all, they want to be communicated with. Most staff members realize they can't have the best benefits on the planet, the highest wages possible, all while coming and going as they please. They realize there has to be some form of structure. Most people do not mind structure and adapt to it quickly because it takes away the guess work. What they do mind is being treated like they don't exist. They feel they are not appreciated for their value and work. They do not think they are told what's happening, which does not make them feel part of the team.
A simple tank you from time to time goes a long way. The pandemic changed many things in the business world. People became used to staying home and getting paid for being there and not working. The working mentality culture changed. To date, we still suffer from many understaffed industries. Everyone wants to work from home. Let's face it. That isn't possible. Innovative businesses have learned to adapt to a work-life balance. They realize that people have lives outside of work and families that want them home as well. Many companies have adopted this work-life principle. However, too many have not.
DO PEOPLE WANT IT ALL?
Of course, they do. However, they are realistic. Most staff members want fair wages for the work they perform. They want to be appreciated and feel part of the team. No, it is not above being warm, fuzzy, and cozy. It's work. When we pay our workers a fair wage, a business will also reap the benefits through:
A more conscientious
A better understanding worker
A more productive worker
In the long term, this saves the business a great deal of money. However, high turnover does not save money. It reduces work production. In addition, if your staff interacts with the public, they may not know enough to make your business appear knowledgeable. Combined, this computes to reduced income resulting in lower profits. When your staff understands that the company's success also relies on them, which translates to what they can earn, in most cases, your team will step up because now they understand their worth.
The trick is for the company, as it applies, to pass some of that profit along to their staff. This builds trust. Communication is the key to any relationship, especially at work. A boss who treats one staff member better than other staff member in the same category that work just as hard should not be a boss. So, another thing I learned is people talk.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS I'M DOING THIS FOR YOU. KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.
Only a fool will believe that will happen. Why? Because people like to boast about what they received. It makes them feel good about themselves and one step ahead of someone else. I've seen that happen many times. It results in two things. Resentment amonst staff members, and eventually, the company will lose a good worker when they find work elsewhere, and they will. THAT'S A FACT.
What is human capital? Human capital is the critical part of a staff member a business misses.
Human capital is the skills, knowledge, and experience possessed by an individual or population, viewed in terms of their value or cost to an organization or country.
If you are in business or work for a company, you must invest in human capital to be successful. The company must invest in human capital. It is an investment in their future. Now, do not think for one minute this is a one-way street. It is not. The worker bees must do their part. Workers cannot expect to get what they have by not helped the company earn. It's simple economics. More in means more can go out. Less in means less will go out.
Both sides MUST do their part. It comes down to EXPECTATIONS! Your staff expects the company will do what it takes to make themselves profitable. The company expects its staff will do what it takes to help them maintain profitability. As I stated earlier, it's a marriage. A meeting of the minds.
A good boss will know the value of each staff member and place them in positions where they can excel in their values, experience, and contributions to the business. In theory, this is why you are the boss. A good worker will excel in their areas of expertise and add that value to the company. But, of course, in business, it will always be about the bottom line. The profit made at the end of the day. A good company will understand how to get there and increase its profits while maintaining a good, healthy, and productive work environment. It's not complicated. It's good business. Suitable for both sides, but only when both sides do their jobs.
Remember to always:
Live with an open mind,
Live with an open heart,
Live your best life.
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