Employees – Do we show respect?

Employees.  We need them.  We are glad to have them.  We don’t know what to do with them.

It constantly amazes me that employees are treated with so little respect.  Do business owners not realize the impact this has on their business?  Not just the profit, but the day to day atmosphere of the workplace suffers from this disrespect. This seems to be especially prevalent in businesses where workers are part time and paid an hourly wage.

Showing respect for your employees shows respect for your business and the value it gives to the world.

Disrespect comes in many forms:

Insufficient training – How can you feel confident in your job if you are not adequately trained?  No one feels comfortable doing their job when they don’t know what they are doing.

Lack of communication – In today’s day and age of electronic communication, there is no reason that every employee should not know what is going on at work.  Even if they only work one day a week, they can be kept abreast of the important issues with their job.  Just because they were not at a daily meeting, they should still be able to find out what is going on and what is important to the company.

Low wages – Businesses pay low wages because they can.  Although money is not the only reason employees stay at a job, it shows them a level of appreciation.  Realistic wages send a message that says, ‘the job you do for us is valuable to our company.’  Low wages say, ‘This is all you are worth, and we can find someone else in a heartbeat.’

Inconsistent work schedules – It is quite common, especially in the retail world, to have erratic and inconsistent schedules.  The practice is to let people know their schedule only a week in advance.  For the employee, this means having to put extra energy into scheduling doctor’s appointments, parent-teacher meetings, classes at the local college, etc.  It can all be done, but is such a hassle.  Does the employer not have any respect for the life of the employee outside of working hours?

Lack of tools to complete the job – It may seem like a little thing, but when the employee is in front of a customer and can not find a pen for them to use to sign something, or a stapler that actually works, it is embarrassing, and makes the job more stressful. It is not always big expensive tools that are lacking, but many times the little ones.  Ask them what they need and then supply it.

No feedback loop – Your employees can see what is going on at the front lines.  They work directly with customers.  They can see what is working and what is not.  Give them a way to get information back to people who can make changes.  By not listening to them, you are telling them that you do not even respect them enough to know what is not working.  You don’t have to make every change, but give employees the respect of providing a way for them to give the company input.

Why not take a moment to look around you and honestly evaluate how you are treating your employees.  Not only are they are critical to the success of your business, but treating them with respect is the right thing to do.

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