Being a business owner is definitely not easy. You have to balance multiple things at once, like your operations, your returns, and also your staff. All of these aspects come with their own set of challenges and obstacles, but a good business owner faces all of these, with kindness and conscientiousness in mind.
Yet, businesses and business executives get a bad rap for targeting success at the expense of those around them. It has become a common occurrence for owners to drive their staff to exhaustion just to achieve a strict deadline, or to micromanage them, and demand difficult expectations all to achieve a goal. Success isn’t easy, and perhaps it forces many to adopt unsavory methodologies but becoming a successful business owner means very little if it’s achieved through less than acceptable means. After all, what’s the point of achieving your goals if it means hurting those around you?
The Conscientious Business Owner
Being conscientious means being aware of what’s right and wrong, and doing your work dutifully. For business owners, this includes treating their staff right and paying them the respect they deserve. Taking care of your employees is paramount to business success, as they’re the ones who’ll be with you in the thick of things. Keeping them satisfied and happy will increase their productivity, and in turn, lead you to success. It’s a two-way relationship, you have to show them kindness and understanding and they’ll do their best for you.
Below are some tips to help you take better care of your employees. Of course, take each piece of advice and digest it to put it in your context.
Provide Tools that Aid Them in their Job
Saving money on hardware and other equipment isn’t exactly rare. However, going for the cheapest ones without a care for their quality is a one-way ticket to frustration island. And you’re not the only one who’ll be frustrated, your employees will be as well. Perhaps even more than you, especially if they’re the ones who will be handling that equipment regularly.
That’s why it’s important to give your employees the proper equipment. Providing them with more than adequate equipment that will help them accomplish their job is a standard. Due to the economy, many companies look for ways to cut corners- and your employee’s tools shouldn’t be one of them. Instead, go for the opposite. Arm them with the best equipment your budget allows. It will make their job easier, and they’ll be more efficient.
Ensure Safety at the Workplace
Following the safety standard is important, not just to meet requirements and avoid fines, but to also make your workers feel secure and safe- especially in labor-intensive industries. But it should extend beyond safety from physical hazards at work. This should extend to the general sense of the word ‘danger’. This should include their psychological safety.
From sexual harassment at the workplace to feeling extreme anxiety over performance in a project, even to workplace bullying the workplace should be a space where you’re allowed to feel comfortable enough to work. Don’t condone any harassment and take any accusation seriously. Your employees will be thankful you’re looking after them, and you’re doing your business a favor by making it a safer environment to work in.
Be Empathetic and Help Them
Some of your employees might be going through difficulties and tough moments in their life. As a leader, there’s very little you can do if it’s a very personal situation- but if there’s an opening for help, go for it. If they’re going for car insurance for high-risk drivers, assist them in coordinating whether you should spend part of their salary on their insurance company. Maybe someone in their family is terribly sick and they need to look after them, reduce their hours so they can attend to that family member.
It might take a little bit of wiggling in your work schedule or operations, but helping out your own staff is always worth it. Remember that we’re all humans, and expressing empathy and concern goes a long way.
Encourage an Open Communication
Make sure that your employees feel that they can tell you what they feel. This will allow solving problems and resolving conflicts easier, as communication facilitates interaction and clears up any confusion. And as a leader, whenever your staff is saying something that’s not particularly positive, it’s best to respond with a clear head and somber response.
Don’t let your emotions get the better of you and let yourself get angry. If your own employees can’t even tell you they’re feeling ill and are too afraid to call in sick, there’s a problem.