Inc Magazine published an article this week titled 10 Things Bosses Never Tell Employees and another article last month titled 7 Things Your Employees Will Never Tell You. If you own your own business or if you manage one for someone else, you should read these 2 articles.
Below are some of my thoughts on how to go about bridging the divide between employer and employee discussed in the articles.
1. Talk to your employees, team members, or partners about your performance. It’s really important that people feel comfortable airing their grievances with you, without the risk of punishment. Miss-communications and management problems need to be corrected early before they have irreparable consequences – True in the office, and true at home or in any relationship.
2. Ask your employees, team member, or partners what they think your strengths and weaknesses are and find out, in the process, what their strengths and weaknesses are as well. We learn from economics that societies become more productive when people optimize their natural strengths through trade. If you’re a construction expert and I’m an amazing farmer – you should build both of our houses and I will grow all of our food, then we’ll both have great houses and great food. A company is the same. Communication in this regard will let you know how to optimize human resources and set the stage… over time you can make adjustments as needed.
3. Talk to your employees, team members, or partners about your goals (business and personal) and think about what you can do to help them achieve their short and long term goals. I’ve always worked the hardest for employers who took a personal interest in my development as a person and not just in terms of what I could do for them.
The way I see it, every company is a marriage/partnership – especially in a small company or a startup – and ideally, I would want everyone involved to be on the same page about where the company is going, what it is trying to achieve, and what needs to be done. From my experiences as a husband and an entrepreneur – communication IS what holds it all together. Business is personal.
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