April 19, 2010

Love and Business

As women will do, I was chatting with a friend about well, yes, relationships. We were talking about people marrying up or down. My friend recalled a conversation she had with her bright, successful niece about her engagement to a man that was quite frankly a total loser. The bride-to-be beamed when she spoke of how her loser fiancĂ© made her feel special and loved like never before. The wise aunt asked her “Tell me what you love about him?” Again the bride rallied on about his understanding of her personality, his patience with her, how he adores and accepts everything about her. She had never felt so confident about herself in a relationship or even in general. She owed it all to him. Asked again, “But really, what do you love about HIM?”  The young woman cocked her head and said “I don’t get what you mean?” Yikes. Fast-forward three years, and predictably the niece had taken her now self-confident self on the road and left the loser, telling her friends that she realized she never really loved him. Double yikes. Aunt: 2 points!

So what does this have to do with business? Plenty. The employer/employee relationship is very similar to a marriage. If an employee judges their marriage with your company only by what they get from the relationship, it won’t last. However if an employee loves being a part of the company, feels pride in how the company operates, can point to specific examples of the company doing the right thing, acting with integrity and charity in the community, respecting all employees, and making smart decisions, the employee will stay with you through thick and thin.

These are the businesses that when a company-wide pay cut is needed, employees don’t gripe or curse; they work harder to save the company they love. How do you know which type of company you are?

Ask yourself:
Do departing employees typically leave for higher paying companies?
Are company parties, special occasions poorly attended?
Employees would prefer to not wear logo attire?
There are many long time employees?

Your answers should give you some insight into how lovable your company is. Surprisingly it has very little to do with compensation and more to do with integrity, smart management and caring about your staff.

My advice: People need to know that they a part of something bigger and better than themselves. Be a good company and communicate the how and why to your employees and your community. Make employees feel proud of their association with your company.

If you work for a company you love, tell us why. Maybe an employer will learn something.


No comments:

Post a Comment