The face of your organization is your team. Your front-line staff may appear the most important and certainly they have the most direct contact with your customers, but everyone in your organization has some impact on your front-line staff and sets the tone for your culture. The formula is simple: Happy workers make happy customers. Your people can be your biggest advocates or they can bring down the entire organization. Would you go back to McDonalds if you always had to deal with disagreeable or unhappy people? Definitely not. Have you ever been in an Apple Store and infected by their enthusiasm for their products. That doesn’t happen by treating employees as a business expense. It happens by treating them with respect, involving them in the organization, and making them proud of what your organization is offering.
Treat your team with respect. You’ll not only feel good about how you’re putting a little happiness into people’s lives, you’ll also be investing in the people that have the most power to make or break your organization.
High performance is unsustainable if demanded of yourself and your team 100% of the time. You also need to build in time to have fun and relax. Celebrate your successes. Take a breather after your failures. There is nothing more important than the health, both physical and mental, of you and your team. If people are driving themselves into the ground to hit a target or complete a project, how long can they last? When will they make a critical mistake or leave for greener pastures?
There is always tomorrow and your team will respect you more when you respect their work/life balance. So take a load off and put your feet up, even if it’s just for a second. Put your team before the job and you’ll find stronger engagement, longer term success, and healthier co-workers.
I remember one of the most delightful surprises I received at the office was a handwritten birthday card from a very high level manager I associated with rarely. It was waiting on my desk before I arrived in the office that day. Such a simple gesture, but one that really showed a lot of warmth. It certainly brightened my day.
Since then, I always put all employee birthdays into my calendar and make sure to wish them a happy birthday. This is also a great practice on days special to your employees like Veteran’s Day, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day.
It’s the little things and the personal touches that help build a stronger connection with those you work with outside of just the jobs at hand.