Running a business is often a balancing act between meeting the needs of customers and employees. You need to serve customers because that’s where your revenue comes from. But you also need to make sure that employees are happy; otherwise, you lose good people who make your brand what it is.
Many owners are highly focused on the customer and hardly at all on their staff. The idea is that workers should accept practically whatever terms their employers offer and should serve the needs of clients at all costs.
But that approach to business feels hopelessly outdated these days. With workers quitting left, right and centre, companies also need to consider employees’ needs. So here is what to do:
Like it or not, the current crop of employees wants nothing more than adulation and praise from their bosses. This is the 2020’s, and with the boomer generation retiring in their droves, millennials rule the roost. Praise is what they’re used to, and praise is what they’ll get.
Employees also want you to loosen the reins a little and allow them to make decisions by themselves. Constantly monitoring, supervising and coddling them feels suffocating to them – and a little insulting. Why can’t they make decisions about what is in the best interest of the company?
Thanks to the pandemic, commercial cleaning is now at the top of many employees’ agenda. People want to be able to go to work without risking their personal safety.
Managers, therefore, need to invest in regular cleaning and, in some cases, PPE. Even a little commitment can go a long way in this regard. The more you prove to employees that you’re looking out for them, the more loyal they will be to you, and the more they’ll see how you appreciate them.
Companies develop their own cultures from the inside out. The experience of one firm can be quite different from another, even in the same industry.
Employees recognise this. Many would be willing to take a pay cut if it meant working in a pleasant environment, surrounded by interesting people. Employees want to feel like the company shares their values, vision and beliefs. They don’t want to feel tied down to an organisation that seems like it’s working against their interests.
Things are changing in the workplace. Employees no longer feel satisfied eating fried foods and pastries for lunch. They want to support their health while they are at work.
For that reason, employers should invest more in healthy food options at lunch time. These make workers feel like you are looking after them more. Plus, it can actually help with concentration in the afternoons. People work better after eating lentils than they do fish fingers and fried potatoes.
Lastly, employers need to recognize that most employees are followers. That is, they look up to you to provide them with direction.
Value-based leadership is great because it helps to give them a purpose. Even if they don’t find one of their own, they can always look to you.
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