Manufacture Your Day by UNDERSTANDING THAT EMPLOYEES COME FIRST
Just recently I had a conversation with the business owner of a company. He said to me, “Karin, I don’t understand, my employees are just so unreliable and it seems that they don’t care about the business at all. I always work long hours to show them how it is done.”
I looked at him, “Well, give me a few examples of how you demonstrate that you care about your employees.”
He couldn’t. In his mind, they get a paycheque and as long as they are getting paid to work, it is their duty to show up and go above and beyond.
Not so fast Mr. CEO – it is your business and not the business of your employees.
If you want the people to care about the business, you have to care about your team members first.
Going above and beyond is a discretionary effort.
Here are a few steps if you want to get into the “caring business model”:
- Know people’s names and learn to pronounce them properly – this is a very simple way of caring (instead of saying “Hey you….”). I used to work in a bank in Austria and the Chief Executive of the bank knew the names of 650 employees (plus their children’s names) – so don’t tell me that this isn’t possible. Make it possible.
- Leave your office and connect with front-line employees – go there, shake their hands and ask them a few questions…
- “How are things with you?”
- “What do you like best about working here?”
- “What is currently your biggest challenge or frustration?”
- “How can we improve things?”
- Schedule a monthly breakfast meeting with a small group of people who would never have real access to speak with you.
- Ask your Managers “What have you done this week to make someone else’s day better?”
- Start your Meetings on a positive note before you go into the regular meeting agenda and ask…
- “What has been your/your team’s biggest win since our last meeting?” or
- “What is a positive situation I should know about?” (this will help them to look for the positive events that are happening daily – if you don’t look for them, you won’t see them)
- Help starting initiatives where people can interact outside of work – a lot of problems will start to disappear when people have fun, build relationships and talk to each other rather than about each other
- Do not allow cell phones in meetings – people have to learn to talk and connect instead of staring down at their phone
Be respectful at all times
- Thank people for things you may take for granted – going above and beyond is not the norm
- Find ways to remove small frustrations by listening to the people
- Encourage kindness – being kind is not a weakness, it is essential with everything that is going on in the world
Everything starts with extraordinary leadership – with or without a title.
Of course, if you are the CEO of an international or multinational company, not all of this is possible YET but most of it can be made possible by being a CCCC (Creative, Curious and Caring CEO).
Don’t measure yourself by what everyone else does. I dare you to disrupt yourself and measure yourself by doing things differently.
You will get what you’re willing to give. Crazy, right?
Food for Thought:
If you keep focusing on numbers and quarterly KMIs, nothing is going to change. If you focus on people, everything is going to improve for the better. Guaranteed!
I encourage you to read this article: