Your company is only as good as the reputation it holds in the community/ world.“Really,” you might ask. “Our gross income is ____ and we are very successful,” you say.
I say, “you’re only as successful as your caring for your people!” And, by the way, how are your turn over and retention numbers?
As a “seasoned” leadership coach, with years of experience coaching high level executives, I can say, without hesitation, that GREAT leaders are the key to a successful company. Money is only a small measure in this equation.
Before the TV show Undercover Boss, I would suggest to the executives I coached, that they disguise themselves and go sit at the local restaurants their employees went to at lunch and just listen to the conversations going on. The truth would come out about all that made them unhappy at work. I could list … dissatisfaction with management, brusk behavior and language, supervisors not caring, verbal abuse, underpay … you name it. It was always quite an awakening.
On the other side, what would stand out in the conversations of those who worked in companies that cared about their people were comments like:
“You know, they really care about me.”
“They knew I was having some difficulties and they reached out about how to help.”
“They responded to my need for a raise because they knew I was about to lose my house.”
“They always praised me for my good work.”
My motto has always been : “If you take care of your employees, your employees will take care of your customers!”
So, why is that that message doesn’t create a groundswell of great companies?
Actually, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that each of you reading this, especially if you’re in a high position, ask yourself what you can do differently to make your company a wonderful place to work.
Is the minimum wage enough for people to live on?
Are people treated with dignity and respect?
Are employees able to share their ideas about what will work … or is it all up to management to do that?
Do people feel they are valued?
Do they feel that when they have a personal crisis their needs are accommodated?
When they report incidents of abuse or harassment, are they believed and is something done?
Is there respect for their personal lives and circumstances?
When they have a serious illness, does the company step up to make things as easy and accessible for them as needed OR does the company find ways to sever their employment?
You — Mr or Mrs or MS leader within your company — are you someone who always treats your direct reports and their direct reports with dignity? Are you empathetic and compassionate … despite the bottom line … in other words, are you helpful and considerate and able to rally your team to help another, take on some of their work so they can heal and return? Do you do everything to keep that person employed so their dignity isn’t taken away …despite the fact that it might cost your company a bit?
Several years ago, I interviewed some of the top executives in this country and asked the hard questions .. especially the hard questions about how they deal with their employees with cancer and serious illness or other adverse situations. While they had the right rhetoric …. e.g. we accommodate their needs … there were definitely things missing. People, with one of these situations, were leaving prematurely because they didn’t feel as valued or accommodated. I also interviewed some of those employees and got their side of the story. And I was even aware of how even when a high level executive had a major personal issue … there became some “pushing out” behaviors so they could be replaced by one of the others.
I want you to consider that it doesn’t have to be this way. A company that cares, has compassion and empathy for employees (at any level), a willingness to help and accommodate as much as possible …now THAT is the company I’d want to work for. How about you?
If you have a desire to know more about training that could create such a workplace, please be in touch. That is what I do and I’m happy to share more observations and models with you. Contact me at [email protected] or 646-708-5650.