Are You A Friend Or Foe To Your Employees?

Are You A Friend Or Foe To Your Employees?

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If we asked you to list the most important people your firm can have a healthy relationship with, who would you choose? Your customers? Your suppliers? Potentially those people who help keep your books, or the outsourced freelancers you use to complete specialized business functions on a one-off basis? Could it be your investors or your shareholders? Could it be the people who manage your office building and keep the power, internet, and security of your home office functional and up-to-date? It’s likely that you’ve already noticed a group of people who can comfortably rest in the ‘most important’ category, only just inching slightly above your customers regarding importance to the daily functioning of your firm: your employees.

Your employees will make up the bulk of your business operation, and as you further split and defer responsibility down the ranks, the importance of having a positive and clear company policy can keep them headed in the right direction from the get-go. It’s important to understand that your employees will only be as effective as you allow them to be, however. It’s rare that employees will take the position only to disregard the importance of it. Many people value their jobs and the security they provide and are willing to work hard to keep that position worthwhile to them from a stability and financial perspective.

However, if you’re scuppering these intentions with shoddy workplace attitudes, you can be sure that you’re going to alienate your staff. Alienated customers can be persuaded to come back using smart methods. New investors can always be found if your original potential was dissuaded from some reason. However, alienated employees will talk about your firm, and will prevent skilled workers from applying to your operation. This ‘brain drain’ can leave you without valued workers, and without those, the wheels of your vehicle will have fallen out. Even if you believe yourself to be the best business owner that ever graced the Earth, it’s important to leave your ego at the door and honestly assess whether or not you are a friend or foe to your employees.

Here are some useful tips to become more of the former, rather than the latter:

Reliable Schedules

Not all firms adhere to the 9-5 shift patterns. Some service industries and hospitality businesses will require their staff take on shifts from all around the clock, and in varying shift lengths. This can be difficult to organize if you’re not completely on the ball, and double scheduling shifts will simply prevent an employee from crafting a solid schedule. Overworking your employees is a very easy thing to do when you’re not completely accurate with how you are staggering your employees. Depending on demand, you may also be putting on too many employees at one time. A good example of this is putting on too many chefs’s in the kitchen of your restaurant on a Sunday evening, the time where it’s likely to be the quietest. Not having much to do will also demotivate your employees to nearly the same level that overworking them will.

For these reasons and much more too numerous to count, implementing free employee scheduling software can be one of the most cost-effective and easy ways to keep everything on track. Having a dedicated software package like this can help you keep all of your organization in a uniform manner, which can be more useful than you might originally assume in your efforts to mentally compartmentalize your management responsibilities.

Room For Growth

Many employees will simply become less and less interested in pursuing definite aims in your firm if they don’t have room for growth or promotion. Outstanding employee performance is not incentivized when the growth potential is missing, as there is nothing for which this hard work can be redeemed. Employees will often desire to do a good job, but if the potential of more responsibility or a higher pay grade is out of their reach, they will often focus on maintaining their energy and doing an adequate job in their current role, never really pushing the limits of what they can achieve.

Consider implementing a solid chart to growth in your firm as you expand. If your firm isn’t quite in the place where you can create multiple hierarchical job roles yet, it’s important to offer some form of financial incentive to reward outstanding work. Consider enacting an ‘employee of the month’ and ‘year’ system, so they publicly feel rewarded for their positive contributions to the firm, and make the reward for attaining this something substantial.

The sacrifice of money and time it takes to secure a solid price for them is always worth it when your employee satisfaction index slowly raises bit by bit, and by the time you are a large firm, you will have implemented such a positive employee reward culture that people will be lining up at the doors to work for you. That’s the dream, at least.


Employees will sometimes find it difficult to adhere to the working format you lay out. Difficult emotional times, physical limitations, as well as emergencies they need to sort out, will leave your employees struggling to work days they might be required. To the best of your ability, try and understand these circumstances, and never criticise or complain about them. Becoming a better boss requires that you stay on the same level as your employees, and prevent yourself from lording over them, as being in the trenches and happy to accommodate requirements will make you seem like a much more personal leader.

Of course, you should always be wary for an employee trying to get out of work suspiciously and discipline them effectively, but never assume the worst of your employees. This subtle shift in understanding can develop a positive relationship between you and employee, and help them put forth the effort to become a better staff member in kind.

With these tips, you’re sure to become a much friendlier boss to your employees, while still commanding a decent sense of respect necessary to motivate your troops in the right directions.

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