What are the 3 worst words a person can utter in their lifetime?
“It’s a job.”
These were the words of a former co-worker of mine when I asked how things were going.
His job duties hadn’t changed. The work was the same. The product was the same. So what changed? What could make this fully capable, intelligent, energetic person utter such a horrible statement?
His new boss. The culture has turned toxic and secretive. People are no longer appreciated for their work. Upper management lies, without conscience, and treats the employees like a cog in the wheel.
It’s a shame to see that happen. In fact, it makes my blood boil.
We’ve all had a “job” like that before. One that you can’t wait to leave. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
As a leader in your organization, you set the tone, create the culture, and frame the environment that your people are subject to 40-50 (or more) hours a week. That’s over 100,000 hours of a person’s life (potentially) and it’s in your power to make them good ones.
You get to choose if you will allow your people to come to work most of those hours saying, “I get to do this for a living.” OR “It’s a job.”
Which phrase are your employees uttering?
I recently sat down with a life-long business owner to ask her What 3 things she learned for an upcoming book I’m writing. One of them was:
Create a Business I Would Want to Work For
She intentionally created her business to be a place where she would want to work.
She wanted to create a place where her employees can pursue their career, use their gifts, and do it in a place where they are appreciated, respected, and encouraged to find their own unique balance between work and life.
Sounds like a place I would want to work.
Not only did she do this, but she has been doing it for over three decades.
Most business owners and bosses miss the value of this. They look at their employees as servants that are paid to do their bidding. It doesn’t matter if they like it or not. Your employees are there to work for you, yes, but you show the caliber of your character when you treat them as people and not servants.
I actually worked with one business owner who told employees that every day they came to work was another opportunity for them to keep their job. Can you imagine what it was like to work there?
But not the business owner I interviewed. In contrast, she finds the value in each employee and let’s them know it. She creates an environment that is flexible enough for people to enjoy their life and their work simultaneously. She has worked hard to make sure that her business is a place where she would want to work. That hard work has paid off.
Here are 3 side benefits of approaching your business this way:
1. You Attract People with like Values
If you treat people as just a number, and are demeaning and deceptive with them, guess who is going to come work for you? Yep. People who are o.k. with being demeaning and deceptive.
But if you treat your employees as people worthy of respect, appreciation, and concern, you will attract people who give respect, appreciation, and concern.
Which person would you rather have working for you?
You’ve heard the phrases, “Birds of a feather flock together”, and “You become like those you spend the most time with.”? They’re both true.
People will live up to the expectations you have for them. So if you expect your employees to treat others well, they will. But it starts with the environment that you create.
2. You have Low Turnover (or None at All)
If you’re like the business owner I interviewed, you have NO turnover. Yes, that’s right, she has no turnover. People that work for her stay a long, long time.
If you create an environment where people feel valued, and their work and their life is appreciated, they aren’t going to leave. In fact, they will become a loyal asset to your business.
Low/no turnover has a snowball effect on your business. Sure you don’t have the added cost associated with turnover, but you also have employees who are invested in the success of the company. They don’t want a good thing to end, so they will contribute to your success, treat customers better, and refer others to work with your organization as you grow.
And you will grow. Which leads us to #3.
3. Your Business will Grow
An environment that breeds loyal employees breeds loyal customers. Loyal customers breed more loyal customers. It’s called employee engagement, and it’s all the rage right now.
The experience your customers get from working with happy employees who are in a thriving environment will guarantee long-standing relationships with your customers and a referral business second to none.
Your reputation will precede you. Not only will customers hear about you and want to work with you, but you’ll never pay a recruiter to find you more employees, candidates will come to you.
Okay, all of this sounds great, you say. But what if you are just a manager and not the owner of the business?
The same rules apply.
Make your department a place where you would want to work. Make your shift that you supervise, a shift that you would want to work on.
It starts with you. Apply the same rules and get the same benefits.
Which statement do you say the most? “It’s a job.” OR “I get to do this.”?
Would you want to work for you right now?
What do you need to change to make it a place you & others want to work for?
Do you need to share this article with your boss?