An Obligation to Employees and Management: A Pandemic Note to One’s Self!
Updated: Jul 27
Instead of discussing the ins and outs of micro market media, I would like to take a small detour, and discuss something that became very apparent during this year from a business owner’s perspective, employee productivity, their mental health and well-being.
Being a small business owner comes with a multitude of tasks that most folks do not understand. There are endless financial decisions, administration and scheduling duties, client interactions and generally all the other aspects of wanting to be the captain of your own ship. But perhaps the most overlooked responsibility of being a business owner is the responsibility of knowing the general gist of your employee’s attitude, happiness, and status. Unfortunately, many owners use hard times, such as these, to take advantage of flawed systems, employee struggles, and general hardship.
My industry comes with many tasks, such as: negotiation, legislation of contracts, and overtime to hit deadlines. However, that leaves out an important aspect, taking care of your employees, and yourself.
It is not a secret that the past year has been difficult for an indefinite amount of people. Which brings me to a quote I often hear. “People show their true selves when times get hard.” Well… have you found this quote to ring true so far?
Well, as Winter comes upon us, it is quite well-known that seasonal depression comes along with the cold weather, and that is without a global pandemic. Forward planning to ensure productivity during these times is crucial. Here are some ways that may help you let employees know that you care about their well-being:
1) Recognition. Recognizing your employees for their accomplishments, achievements, and overall good work is among the simplest ways to boost employee morale, yet it is extremely effective. Simply letting your employees know that their work is appreciated can go an extremely long way.
2) Encouragement of paid time off. Working 5 days a week, often (if not every day) more than 8 hours, can take both a physical and mental toll on the human body. Often, corporations discourage time off, and would rather their employees act as if they were robots, without personal obligations, families or a social life. With traveling less likely at this juncture, telling an employee when the opportunity allows, that they are welcome to a paid day off to literally “do nothing but relax” will instantly create better loyalty and increase productivity upon return.
3) Increase Engagement and rapport. How hard is it to ask someone how they are doing during these difficult times? Not the standard boiler plate “How are ya, the weather’s nice today” conversational aspect, but to really ask somehow how they are holding up can really open a great dialogue from owner to employee.
4) Full Circle. However, morale is a two-way street. Employees need to remember that their managers are people like themselves. They have the pressures of work and family with the same personal issues as the rest have. Employees need to treat the owner as they expect to be treated and owners should expect it. Respect and owner loyalty are earned, they are not a birth right. Your simple presence at work does not automatically entitle you to special consideration. Remember that while your momma loves you no matter what, your employer is not obligated to!
Kindness, consideration, productivity and acknowledgement go both ways and build a better work environment for everyone.
These small and simple steps can go a long way with everyone at work. I believe we can all benefit from and appreciate them!