Your Employees are Human: Convince Them That You Are, Too
There’s one universal truth that applies to all different sizes and types of businesses: a company’s greatest assets are its employees. I’ve heard the dissenters yelling, “No! The greatest asset is the customer!” But think about it: employees add value, character, and innovation, and all of these things lead to customers and revenue.
Employees are crucial, and you need to keep them. Employees need to be treated like the valuable assets they are. Otherwise, you’ll lose a trained and integral piece of your business to a competitor who isn’t afraid to show appreciation and respect to employees.
Stand up in your leadership position and demonstrate an “attitude of gratitude” when dealing with employees in order to fight off a negative and resentful workplace vibe that eats away at productivity.
Values drive decisions, decisions drive behaviors, and behaviors drive results
Employees are human beings. They each have their own emotional and internal drivers, or values, that motivate them to do the things they do. If you want to work in harmony with others in a way that yields the best results, you should be cognizant and honor the top values of the people you work with. It shows respect, consideration, and good leadership.
Approximately 80% of a person’s decisions are based on emotion, not reason. Go into your management position recognizing the need for a large degree of both emotional and social intelligence.
Personal values drive decisions and decisions drive behaviors; therefore, it inevitably becomes behaviors that yield professional results. Taking the time to appreciate an employee’s internal drivers will promote a healthy and productive workplace.
Why leaders need to show the love to employees
- Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, repeatedly warns that people will inevitably lash out when they do not feel loved. Neglect leads to a drain on a person’s energy, and his ability to run at peak performance is ruined. Remember, employees are human and need to be treated as such.
- When employees do not feel like their work is appreciated, results suffer, morale decreases, and as a result, turnover increases. A high turnover rate reflects horribly on a business. Avoid it with an attitude of appreciation and respect amongst employees.
- You know that invisible energy that surrounds a company and drives corporate culture? It has an unparalleled affect on employee performance and loyalty. If employees enjoy going to work every day and feel valued, they’re much less likely to leave you in the lurch by accepting another position elsewhere.
- Ever held a position within a negative corporate culture? Unappreciated workers feel justified in sharing how they feel at the water cooler, and negativity spreads like a virus. Undervaluing employees can create a resentful culture that leaves a venomous undercurrent in an organization, which serves as a dark force against a business’s goals. Prevent this corporate sickness by just showing a little love and gratitude to the people working for you.
How to Fight the Negative Force
Learn: Take each employee through a personal values sorting exercise or discussion to determine his or her top internal motivators. You become a better leader by learning about each employee and how to personally motivate him or her. It also allows a new culture to blossom in which employees are open, transparent, and authentic about what drives them.
Plan: Create a corporate policy that requires effective and positive communication. Yes, this will not always work, so encourage employees to find a trusted “vent buddy” to blow off steam. Venting privately is healthy. Bitter water cooler talk is contagious. Prevent it.
Organize: Align people with tasks that work in harmony with their top values and strengths so friction is reduced and energy is best utilized.
Demonstrate: You’re their leader. Model the kinds of behaviors that elevate people on a personal level. Remember, behavior drives results.