COVID changed the workplace and we are still seeing it. Not all business owners have realized the change, why it happened, and what needs to be done to remain a smooth running operation. During COVID and following COVID we saw that people not treated decently on their jobs in the first place, with pay and extras, didn’t want to come running back to work for the same old/same old. They started looking for something different, and better.
In her article “5 workplace lessons we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic” author Tarika Arun came up with five ideas toward enlightenment:
Workplace Lesson #1 – Employee wellness matters as much as employee productivity
Workplace Lesson #2 – Compassion and empathy should be a core part of employee management
Workplace Lesson #3 – Tech tools are required to empower employees to work from anywhere
Workplace Lesson #4 – Flexible work schedules are no longer nice to have, but essential
Workplace Lesson #5 – Building a resilient workforce is essential
Business owners and managers need to consider how workers fit in, why they do fit in, and why they need to fit in to benefit both management and the workers themselves. Workers who are paid low wages, generally just go through the motions and get what work done they need to complete so they can get paid. There’s very little difference between slave wages from centuries ago, treatment, and final product. They don’t move up the ladder; they most likely just move on. However, people that know they are are worth their hire +, expect fair treatment and respect. When employers hire workers and treat them as if they not only matter, but are part of management and the business machine, workers respond. Management needs to show respect and concern as well as trust in their growing ability. We then have a talent contract that works for both the workers and the administrators and reaches all the way up to the owners.
Here are some comments to consider. Read them and weigh them with how you have been running the business:
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of the employees, they’ll take care of the clients.” Sir Richard Branson
“If you don’t create a great rewarding place for people to work, they won’t do great work”- Ari Weinzweig
“It’s not usual to speak of an employee as a partner, and yet, what else is he?- Justin Time
“Treat your employees like an investment, not a cost.” – Dan Sullivan. An American Senator
“The way your employees feel is the way your customers feel. And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers.” – Sybil F. Stershic. American Author
“There are two things people want more than sex and money . . . recognition and praise.”
Mary Kay Ash, Founder, Mary Kay Cosmetics
“Make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, has meaningful impact and is contributing to the good of the society.” – Larry Page, Co-founder of Google
I wish I had thought of this when I was president for the Rotary Club of Tacoma #8: During the meeting, recognise someone who ran a successful project, but before that ask four or five people to individually go up to that chairman later and let them know how much they deserved the kudos.
Let’s do Lunch – Take an exceptional worker or administrator out to lunch for doing excellent work on a project or special event. You can make this even better by asking the person to invite three or four other workers, their spouse or significant other to join the two of you for lunch.
Find out more about the person you want to reward. If they love to cook, buy them a year’s subscription to a foodie magazine like Cook’s Illustrated; if they love plants order Flower Magazine; if they love art, a subscription to The Artist; if they love history, a subscription to The Smithsonian or Archeology will be appreciated. Be sure to ask first, just in case they already have a subscription. Don’t worry, there are numerous magazines for most subjects. They will appreciate your knowledge or their preferences and knowledge.
“Compensation is what you give people for doing the job they were hired to do. Recognition, on the other hand celebrates an effort beyond the call of duty.” – “How to Profit from Merchandise Incentives”
If you really want to show workers how much you care when they have done something absolutely sensational, take them to lunch. Not only pay for lunch, but pay for their close co-workers (of their choice) and have a limo pick up the celebrant and take them to work, then pick them up and their co-workers and drive them to lunch and back, and finally have the limo deliver them home at the end of day . . . perhaps with a bottle of wine to share. This would be a memory that would last a life time for both the individual and their co-workers.
“When management shows through actions rather than words that you’re a valuable employee, that your input is valued no matter what level your work at, it’s very motivating.” – Aaron Melick, Circulation and Marketing Administrator, Playboy Enterprises
The Ten Best Ways to Reward Good Work
#1 – Money
#2 – Recognition
#3 – Time off
#4 – A piece of the action
#5 – Favorite work
#6 – Advancement
#7 – Freedom
#8 – Personal growth
#9 – Fun
#10 – Prizes
– Michael LeBoeuf, The Greatest Management Principle in the World
“Give people a chance not to just do a job, but to have some impact, and they’ll really respond, get on their roller skates, and race around to make sure it happens.” – Robert Hauptfuhrer, Chairman and CEO, Oryx Energy
“It’s not enough to tell people they should be happy to have a job here. At a time when people are asked to really stretch themselves with fewer resources, you want to reward them for that stretch.” – Bruch Donatuti, Director of Human Resource Policy, Program Development and Communications, Citibank
A word of warning. If you can’t deliver praise to an employee, then perhaps you need a different job.