[September 20, 2013] Taking care of employees can mean many things but what it should mean is that employee opportunities to succeed are in place. The work environment and organization culture must be one that maximizes individual employee success.
People do work for money but there are other important reasons. Research has shown that many times pay is not the main reason. If leaders do not care about their employees and fail to set the conditions for the proper work setting, employees will leave.
Taking care of employees translates into also taking care of their families. This means that families are afforded a level of respect and know that their voices can be heard. Senior executive leaders should ensure formal policies are practical and effective and are institutionalized as part of creating conditions for family support.
Senior leaders who take care of their employees also ensure that poorly performing employees are re-trained, transferred, demoted, or terminated. And that unethical, illegal, and immoral employee behavior will not be tolerated. Toxic leaders and poor performing employees must be quickly turned-around or terminated.
Good communications with employees by the senior leader will help set expectations and ensure problems can be identified early. An open door policy is one technique. Keeping employees informed, especially when change occurs is crucial. Get ahead of the curve and let them know what possibly is coming in the future that may affect them.
Regardless of what communications tactic used, every employee must know that the goal is providing employee success and that senior leaders can be counted on to help them.
All employees – full time, part time, permanent, interns, or temporary – are still employees and ought to be treated with respect. Yes, even those that are poor performers and toxic should be treated professionally and with respect.
Treating employees with respect is a measure of leader professionalism.
Also recognize that employment benefits (health care, retirement funds, etc) are sensitive issues and the senior leader should tread carefully when anticipating change. How benefits are handled will drive employee perspectives on how well they are cared for by leaders.
Pay, benefits, family, and opportunity are part of the main reasons people perform well. The senior leader’s job is to ensure employees are motivated to achieve a greater level of performance and senior leaders hold the key.