As an executive in a small business, I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers on how to “keep employees happy.” However, when I think about it, I think I know someone who does – Ric Michaels, my first grade teacher.
Now, I’m not comparing Induron’s (or your!) employees to first graders. But I am saying that keeping employees – or any other group of people – happy and productive requires the things we all learned, or should have learned, very early in life from a good role model.
Here are three ideas I try to incorporate here at Induron:
- Respect – Show it to get it. Groups and teams are made up of individuals. Every individual that I’ve ever met deserves respect for something. I have met some individuals that have lost my respect because of actions, but respecting both the group and each individual within the group is a good start.
- No Games – Say what you’re going to do and then do it. Not everybody will like all of your actions, but if you are honest and forthright, there will be no surprises. And unless it’s Christmas morning, nobody likes surprises. Additionally, nobody likes not knowing what’s going on or what’s coming next. That leads to…
- Be Open – I’m not saying that everybody in an entire organization needs to know every single detail of every decision. However, everybody likes direction and wants input. In the end, by asking for recommendations, sharing goals and direction, and answering questions, your team will have a better understanding of their role. And when they’ve been able to have input into that direction, they’ll be that much more likely to support your efforts to get there.
I don’t know if Mr. Michaels ever realized it (I bet he did), but he shared some hugely valuable team building traits through his example way back in the early ‘70s. I’m thankful for them now, will try to employ them for the rest of my career, and wanted to share some of the high points with you!