The ‘customers first’ norm is slowly changing to ‘employees first’. It is becoming increasingly apparent to employers that employees play an important role in building a solid and scalable business. The top industries that have learned about this and worked on it have seen immense growth and change in their organisation.
Brands like Zappos, Twitter, Chevron, Bolt and the likes are known for their excellent and enabling work culture. They are all people-centric and treat their employees fairly.
Sadly, there are still a whole lot of employers that have refused to change with the tide and do better to their human resources.
I went to a restaurant to get some snacks, they didn’t have the particular ones I wanted so I opted to sit, and wait for a friend so we can try out another restaurant. While at that, I got into a little chit chat with the waiter and she was fun to speak with. Approximately 10-15 minutes later, her boss stormed in cursing. “You are a very stupid girl, yes you are very stupid, who did you sell my packs to?” I was dazed!
The story- the lady was trying to explain to her boss that a customer bought two big packs of cake and he is an old customer, she couldn’t tell the man that she will remove the cakes in the pack and put it in a nylon bag as that won’t look good. Owing to this, she let him leave with the pack seeing that he also made a big purchase.
After explaining, the boss cussed and cussed. The boss said she doesn’t care and that the lady must pay for the packs. She ended her statement with the “you are very stupid “ line. I apologized and assured the waiter that she does not need to be embarrassed. She said it’s not the first time, the woman cusses her out and she’s used to it. She will pay for the pack but she is happy, the customer was happy.
Now, imagine a scenario where your employee is even more professional and cares about your customers more than you do, still, you do not understand the value in it.
She will leave once she finds a better place and the customers she treated right will possibly go with her. I have had the chance to handle lots of employees and can tell you for free what works. These 3 easy tips below will help you retain your employees and get them to buy into what you are doing and help grow the company.
Respect your employees: How you treat people determines what you can expect from them. Empathy is key, people love to feel they matter and love to be respected. They are people that stay in jobs that do not even pay as much just because their employers speak politely and respect them. There are punitive measures that can be added to your company policy to ensure that order is kept but do not speak to your employees like they are your slaves or embarrass them unduly. They are humans, your staff, and they deserve to be respected.
Communicate your company’s vision: Southwest airlines adopts this rule and they are known as one of the best airline companies to work with as they have a unified team. When people understand where you are going, they are likely to stick with you if it aligns with what they want for themselves. Don’t just sell your company to your target audience, sell to your employees first. Once you sell the vision properly to them, your sales and company growth is assured as they will pass this on.
Make sure at least once every month there is a strategy or brainstorming session where you re-explain the vision, give them time to share their thoughts on the next steps for the company. This will make them feel like they are part of the bigger picture and they do more than just work. They have the employers mindset and act like stakeholders in the company and not just like employees.
Give them time off: Bolt recently announced that their workdays have reduced to 4 working days, this is because they realised their staff are most productive after a good rest. Companies want to reap their employees and you shouldn’t be one of those. Give people time to recuperate, leave them alone during weekends. They should rest! Mandate all workers to take their leave. Time off should be compulsory. If for any reason they are to work extra time, maybe a project with a tight deadline or an emergency, ensure to appreciate them afterwards. Create reward systems in your company. People should be rewarded for their good work, and also be given time to find themselves and do other things with their life. This gives them a sense of purpose and helps them to be very productive and enjoy the work they do.
If you practice these three points diligently, your employees will stay longer and will help your brand’s reputation and turnover.
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