It should come as no surprise that every successful small business owner puts the interests of their staff first. That is because it is the long-term success of the business that ultimately determines its long-term survival. However, just because they have put the needs of their staff first doesn’t mean that the business owner has to ignore the individuality of each employee. By maintaining a work environment where all employees feel valued and appreciated, the owners of small businesses will not only be able to attract and retain the most talented employees, but will also foster a work environment in which employees are willing to explore new opportunities and develop new skills. Following are some of the ways that puts employees first:
Small business goals must be realistic. Although the overall goal of making the company more profitable is something that small business owners can all want, this goal must be tempered with the reality of any given day puts employees first. A small business owner cannot expect to double the profits of last year’s business by setting unrealistically ambitious short-term goals.
The effectiveness of any employee is dependent upon his or her ability to do the tasks assigned to him or her. When an employee performs poorly, there are at least two things that occur. One of those items is that the employee will be viewed by others in a negative light. The other item is that the employee may realize that he or she is less effective and be willing to under perform even tasks in order to make up for it.
Prioritizing tasks assigned to employees is a very important part of any management system. Prioritizing means dividing large tasks (such as completing customer orders or managing inventory) into smaller more specific tasks (such as performing quality inspections). This process allows managers to be much more efficient in their daily operations. If a manager is unsure of how to best arrange his or her staff to meet their individual goals, he or she should take a staff meeting and discuss the situation with all of the employees present. In many cases, this will result in a consensus of where improvements should be made.
One of the most common reasons as to why putting employees first does not seem to make sense in an organization is the “cohesion” factor. In business, if employees don’t like each other and are not loyal to the business, the owners will lose money. Loyalty is important to keep customers coming back. If customers are coming back but do not feel that the employees treat them as well as they should, that sends the wrong message to the public and eventually to the rest of the customers.
In addition to the “cohesion” issue, another reason why putting employees first in an organization is because the owners believe that it is more expensive to hire someone that is not productive than it is to get someone who is highly productive, yet is not highly wanted. That is a hard proposition to prove sometimes. For example, if an employee gets some extra work done on a Saturday afternoon, the cost might justify the employee’s joining the union, but if the same employee does the same work on Friday evening, there would be no case for the company to charge the union for additional work. Sometimes, it costs the business more to have a person working who is not wanted, rather than one who is wanted and is productive.