Have you ever wondered how your employees talk about the workplace after work? Try to get this picture in your mind: After working all day for you, an employee or two meet friends after work to have pizza. What are they saying about work? Is it something like, “.What a crazy day it was! I can’t believe my boss, how incompetent he is. He thinks he knows everything! He interferes with our work, gives us contradictory
directions, fouls up the order and then tries to blame us for not meeting production! When we try to give input, he says that he’s the boss and to just do what he tells us to do. I am constantly on the
lookout for a new job with a new company. I’ll have ulcers before I’m thirty in this job.”
Or does the conversation go something like this: “What a crazy day it was! The company has a full-scale push on for new business and the sales force is bringing it in. We worked our tails off. But you know what? We shipped every order scheduled for today and some that were supposed to go out tomorrow! We beat our quota in production again! What a great feeling to be part of a motivated team that understands
its goal, helping out each other to make it happen and supervisors who give you the task and get out of your way and let you do your work. They are there for support and direction if needed, but they don’t micro-manage. We have a lot of say in how we do our job, we can make changes on the run if it helps production, and we are recognized for meeting and exceeding quotas. The boss and the owner treat us like equals, like we are partners in the business. They respect us and encourage us. It is a great place to work. Someone would have to double my pay before I would leave this place!”
Now think about you being the person they are sharing their after work talk with. Just as people speak poorly about a product they purchased and are not happy with it, the results are the same. You might not purchase that product because one of your friends has had a bad experience with it. What do the numbers show? If someone doesn’t like a product, they tell 8-10 of their friends. If they like it, they tell 3-5 of their friends about it. Same thing with looking for a place to work. If your good buddy tells you it is not a good place to work, you are apt to avoid applying for work there. The reverse is also true. If your friend talks about the satisfaction of working at a company, it could influence you positively to look for employment there.
When business owners ask me about where do they find good workers because people come and go from their company and they don’t know why, here is what I do: I ask them to think about the environment they and their management team create for the workers. Are the workers treated with respect, asked for input, allowed to participate in changes in the workplace? Are they properly trained, encouraged to grow and stretch
and allowed to make decisions that are proper to make at their level? Or are the employees treated like another machine, told not to think but to do, and are supervised by individuals who are not suited for the job and poorly trained? Are the workers properly compensated for the
work accomplished? Recognized for it? Feel part of the family?
Survey after survey show that workers want challenging work, a company that cares about them and that they feel in on things and make a difference. Pay and benefits come after that. Think about it. What kind of environment are you creating? Are you setting workers up for failure or success? Do you seek their input? Do you respect them? The self-fulfilling prophecy works every time.