Advice at work: Things some bosses should do but don’t
An omission is defined by Merriam-Webster as something neglected or left undone, apathy toward or neglect of duty, or the act of omitting. Last week I wrote about omissions in financial planning. Let’s talk about employees this week and what happens if you don’t try to connect with them.
First of all, let’s admit that employees in the modern era are different from those of our parents’ or grandparents’. Back then, a person worked for a company for 50 years, received a gold watch in appreciation and retired. That’s typically not the way it works today.
Workers may three or more careers in their lifetime, want life-work balance and have little loyalty to any one company. How do employer omissions affect employees? Let’s look at a few examples.
No positive feedback
Many employers expect their employees to do a good job and will only talk about performance when it’s unsatisfactory. Failing to tell them they’re doing well or about their strengths can leave the employees feeling unappreciated and less motivated.
However, a manager who communicates with workers and lets them know they ‘re on the right track gets more effort from employees. It can be done with a thank-you note, a gift card, or paid time off.
Recognizing employees’ contributions and thanking them makes them more comfortable in their jobs, boosts self-confidence, and motivates them while reinforcing a sense of purpose.
Recognizing accomplishments in front of the team, and including details of what was done right, will not only help the team grow but will also motivate others to work harder.
Omitting vital information and not keeping everyone in the loop happens often and causes many problems. These omissions may be unintentional — like forgetting to include a name on an e-mail or forgetting to bring someone up to speed about what happened while they were away from the job.
This omission can also be strategic because the employer wants to consolidate power or exclude people. Not keeping everyone in the loop, though, can cause annoyance and even a sense of rejection. Both can lead to a loss of trust and admiration for the boss, a lack of motivation, and a loss of loyalty to the company.
Think seriously about leaving someone out of the loop and, if this was accidental, acknowledge it and quickly fix the problem.
Remember, they’re people
Instead of not visiting your employees because you’re “too busy,” take time to find out about their families, hobbies and travel plans. Let them know that family is important.
Recognize work anniversaries and birthdays. Ask what makes them feel appreciated. Is it a thank-you card, an extra day off, a bonus or something else that makes them feel appreciated? You can also share a little bit about yourself to connect with them. Shared interests will help the group work better together.
Listen to them
Ask questions and listen. Your employees might have better ways of doing things because they’re actually doing the work. They might even have suggestions on how to reorganize the workplace and make it more efficient. Ask questions about what they might need to do their jobs better, such as classes or training.
Having an early morning meeting with your team to discuss the day’s challenges can motivate the whole staff and get everyone working on the same page.
About two years ago, I toured a small manufacturing plant that was about 10 years old. The employers are engineers. They create plans and figure out what the end product should look like, but their employees knew more about running the business than they did.
The employers empowered their staff to do the best job, and the employees did. Raises and pension contributions continued to increase as gross profits increased. The company has grown each year and has taken business away from China and brought it back to the United States. This all happened because they took care of their employees in the ways mentioned above.
Start thinking about how you can avoid acts of omission as an employer. Engaging your employees can positively impact your business.
By MARCIA CAMPBELL | Contributing columnist with THE PRESS ENTERPRISE
PUBLISHED: October 5, 2019
Marcia L. Campbell has worked as a CPA for over 25 years specializing in seniors, trusts, estates, court accountings, and probate litigation support. You can reach her at Marcia@MCampbellCPA.com