The Biz of Pacelinebiz

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What Is Your Most Valuable Business Asset?

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Is this your most valuable asset?

How will you answer that question?  Is it your computer system capabilities?  Perhaps, you have manufacturing equipment that is valuable.  Maybe it is a delivery vehicle, bulldozer or dump truck.  You might say how you answer that question depends on the business you are in.  I say you might be wrong.  None of those responses consider human capital, your employees.

Over the past several years the economy has been terrible but you have probably maintained your equipment and machinery to keep it running properly.  What have you done for your employees?  Are your treating them as an asset or as a liability?  The “problem” with employees is they have feelings and are just as easily affected by neglect or abuse.   What can you do to keep them happy and working at top speed? 

First of all, money is not everything.  So I am not necessarily saying to give out raises when the times are tough.  Many studies have shown that money is usually not the number one priority for workers.  What you can do is treat them with respect and be up front with them about prospects for wage increases.  My recommendation is to lead by example and show that the belt-tightening is affecting you as an owner too.  This means you should not be having extravagant expenses such as getting a new company car or a plush remodeling of your office. 

Below is a list of some small things that can go a long way to help morale:

  • Recognize employees by “catching” them doing something right
  • Be accessible to employees don’t hide from them with a bunker mentality
  • Be a leader and keep positive. They should take the cue from you and the positive tone at the top will spread through the company.  You must be authentic because if you are phony it is easy to see and will work in the opposite direction of what you want.
  • Relax the dress code if appropriate or offer some flex time or establish a telecommuting policy if applicable.  That will save you some overhead and they will save time and gas money even if only for one day a week. 
  • If possible, you can give an early quit day once in a while.  An hour early on a nice Friday afternoon goes a long way and really doesn’t cost much.
  • Buy donuts or bring in pizza for lunch if possible.
  • Find creative ways to keep the mood light and positive, ask for suggestions.

By the way, all of the above can and should be done during good times as well as the bad.  It doesn’t cost much to be nice.  If you have a happy workforce it will pay dividends through better productivity and happier customers.  Good luck, I encourage you to take a step to keep your most valuable asset running at top speed.

Have a great week applying the soft skills of managing your employees.

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Written by pacelinebiz

January 23, 2012 at 11:12 am

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