Want to know how to keep employees happy? Learn from Michael
My friend Michael is going through a very interesting job change. He is in the health care industry and has been at his job for a couple of years.
During that time he has developed a good reputation for himself. In fact just recently he was head-hunted by a competing company in the same field.
“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers” Stephen R. Covey
The first contact with the new firm was pretty heady for Michael.
Who knew that he had built a reputation that extended beyond his current employer?
The contact from the new firm talked about what they knew about Michael and how they felt he could improve his career by joining the new firm.
You’ve got to know Michael to understand this, he is very loyal.
Not just to his current employer but to friends and others around him.
He goes out of his way to do the best he can in all situations.
He was torn about even having a meeting with the new firm.
But, what can it hurt to listen; I mean they did pay him some pretty heady compliments, so why not just meet with them, once?
Well, you can guess what happened
During the interview they talked about how the company was growing, why they needed someone with his skills, and talked about how he could grow his career with them.
Finally they gave him an offer that was more than he expected.
The parting comment to him was, “let us know what starting salary you would expect. We want you as part of our team. I’m sure we can come to terms quickly”.
OMG! BOOM! This is how loyal Michael is, it took him a month and several interviews to decide to switch.
I have a questions for you;
How do you keep your employees happy?
What reasons do they have to stay with you if another offer comes to them unsolicited?
“When employees are happy, they are your very best ambassadors” James Sinegal
I ain’t talking about yogurt here.
I’m talking about company environment, in which both your employees and your customers perceive you.
This offer made Michael look long and hard at the culture within his current employer.
Michaels gut and experience told him that most decisions came directly from the owners of the company.
Even though there is a layer of management, everything was run by the owner first.
To Michael it meant that any question would take days for an answer.
He also knew this frustrated his supervisor.
During his new job interview process he asked his current supervisor how they saw him within the company and could he expect career growth?
The answer he got was, “I know the owner likes how you work with clients, plus not many others are willing to work till 9:00 each night. For now I would guess they want you where you are”. Really, ouch…
Michael discovered what his gut had already told him.
The owner was unwilling to let others do their job and micro managed all aspects of the business.
The best a supervisor could do is to not rock the boat and maintain the status quo.
Most importantly there was no future for him within the company; he would be an employee doing the same thing he did when he first started with them, no change, no career enhancement, no appreciation.
Do you micro manage your business?
Does every decision need to go by you first?
Do your employees grow as fast as the business?
“Just the act of listening means more than you can imagine to most employees”. Bob Nelson
Before the job offer Michael felt as though as long as he did his job he would have job security.
After the job offer he took a closer look at the culture fostered by the owners and began to realize he was an employee putting in his hours for the owners.
They didn’t have a plan for him, plus he knew the company was moderately dysfunctional.
Did they even appreciate him? How would he know, it was never expressed in any way!
He felt appreciated, needed, and flattered by the new company.
What a contrast to his current position.
Look at appreciation as a 3 way triangle; you appreciate your employee, and you show it.
The employee appreciates you, is loyal and happy in their work environment.
Customers are the 3rd leg of the triangle.
The customers repay good customer service by becoming repeat customers and referring your company to their friends and business associates.
Here’s a shocker, your employees are human and have emotions, just like you.
Let them know when they’ve done a good job.
Show them with small gifts of appreciation;
Pay for a training course
Give them time off to complete it
Give gift cards to one of their favorite stores
Take them to lunch
Yeah, I know, that doesn’t fall to the bottom line; there is no ROI in it.
Except that there is. The cost of replacing an employee is very expensive, the cost of having an unhappy employee is costing you customers, and the constant micro-management is costing you time.
Here’s how to keep employees happy; Be loyal to them, work to build a great culture within your company, and show them appreciation.
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