By Anna Chinyoyo, Program Associate.
In layman terms, a company is an organization of people who share a common goal; fulfilling their objectives and generating profit under effective leadership. Everyone, regardless of their position, is bringing something to the table and therefore needs to be recognized, appreciated and compensated effectively. The biggest asset a business can have is the people who work in it because it’s their contribution (however small) that pushes the business to greater heights.
Give room for creativity: Listen to your employees and accommodate their ideas. Encourage them to explore further and always probe their rationale. Furthermore, provide them with proper support to help them develop their vision. Do not look down on any of your employee regardless of their title. Always be a go-to person and show enthusiasm.
Emphasize: We are all human and therefore face up and downs in different areas of our lives. A good employer is the one who supports his people both professionally and personally. Be there for your people when they are going through challenging times and show appreciation when they accomplish their tasks. It wouldn’t hurt to have a counselling sessions every now and then. This will develop loyalty and solidarity among your employees.
Pay them well: This goes without saying. Pay your people in line with their skills, experience and qualifications lest they start thinking of going away to a more generous employer. When the company achieves their objectives, a little bonus wouldn’t hurt your pockets. Show your employees you value them and they can count on you for growth in their different areas of their lives.
Socialize with them: People are always more productive in an environment that is friendly and supportive. To a certain degree, allow humor in the office (as long as it’s not offensive or intimidating). Arrange for your people to go to team building activities and socialize outside the office. If possible, encourage them to meet each other’s families and bond as one happy big family. It will be easier for them to work with each other and create a sense of belonging. Try to be part and parcel of these activities.
Listen to them: Listen to their ideas, grievances, visions, fears etc. At the end of the day, you will have a big pool of ideas that will help run your company towards a positive direction. Your employees see you as their captain. They believe in you and trust you will guide them well. They know where they want to go, they just need to feel that you are in the same boat.
Discipline them: As much as we want to create a friendly and welcoming working atmosphere, we should not overdo it, otherwise your employees will start to feel entitled and become undisciplined. Make sure everyone follows the code and conduct and state clearly state that any form of insubordination and slacking will have matching consequences. At the end of the day you are running a business, not a day care.
How you treat the people who work for you can make or break your business. Make sure your end result is the former.