I recently had a conversation with a good friend of mine who works a very demanding job in the corporate world in Houston. As we were discussing her work, she told me with much relief that she has a new boss and is surprised that he is actually nice to her. A little taken aback by her statement, I asked her why she was so surprised. She began to remind me of how her previous boss treated her. I believe the words she described him with were rude and condescending. She told me that her boss now thanks her, which takes her by surprise because those words were never uttered out of her previous supervisor’s mouth.
I have also heard this before when interviewing for clients who have open jobs. Candidates sometimes express that they are wanting to leave or have left their jobs because they don’t feel valued or it’s a toxic work environment. That’s why when you do interviews for your company, the candidate is also interviewing you and getting a feel for how they would fit into your company.
This is why culture plays a huge role in your business.
Your Environment. Your Values. Your Goals.
All this and more encompasses what you want your business to look like and what direction you want it to move in. People want to work in environment where they have potential to succeed, learn, develop, grow, but when you work in an environment that you feel isolated, unappreciated, and not of value to a company then that bright light starts to dull and the motivation begins to dwindle.
Set The Standard
So, how do we make sure this doesn’t happen?
It starts at the top. As business leaders, bosses and managers you set the tone for your business. You set the standards for what you expect of your employees and you set the tone for what type of culture your business is. Lead by example.
So here are a few questions I have for you to dwell on:
- Do you have a pulse on the morale of your employees?
- Do you know how your employees are feeling?
- Have you created a place where your employees can come to you or their immediate supervisor when they feel overwhelmed or frustrated with an issue?
- When was the last time you genuinely expressed gratitude toward an employee for their hard work. How often do you?
Check The Pulse
I understand that you have a lot on your plate. Between meetings and sales calls, budgets and planning, the work day, week, and even the month can fly by. It was just the beginning of the year and you blinked and now fall is upon us, but be careful not to let performance management fall by the wayside. Your team is a vital part of your company.
Maybe it’s a quick check in every week or two to see how things are going. Or it could be an email after a big sale congratulating them or highlighting it in a staff/company meeting. However way keeping a pulse on company morale looks to you, be proactive in it. Motivate your leadership team or supervisors to be proactive in it as well.
I could see the difference of my friend’s demeanor talking about work now compared to past conversations we had when she was stressed, unhappy and felt that she was not valued at her job. She now has a boss that recognizes her value and acknowledges the hard work she puts in. (She is even up for a big promotion at the end of the year!)
So here is my challenge and reminder to you. Be a company that values the work of their employees. When your employee’s friend tells them their boss has never once expressed gratitude for their hard work, I hope that they are shocked, because the company they work for (your company) is different. Their company values their employees and recognizes their hard work. Be that company and be that leader.
So, I leave you with this question I asked earlier because I think it’s important: Do you have a pulse on the morale of your employees?