Create A Great Business Through Employees by Using Just One Key Word

November 16, 2017

Some businesses just seem to have all great employees. Others, however, seem to have employees who really don’t care how they do their job or how customers perceive them or the business. Businesses with all seemingly great employees somehow just happen to be those businesses most likely to prosper and grow.

There is one key word that usually distinguishes the great businesses from the “not-so-great” businesses. Before going to the next paragraph, test yourself. What word can you think of that helps create a great business through its employees? I was in an airport recently waiting to get an order completed at a typical fast-food restaurant and overheard two people talking. One said to the other, “Now, that is someone who hates her job.” This employee was not indicative of the one key word that can help create a great business. 

What’s the key word? Pride!

Some Employees Have It

It is fairly easy for customers to notice the pride that some employees have in their jobs and the businesses they work for. They smile. They’re full of energy. They are enthusiastic about their jobs and are exuberant when speaking about their employer. They take “pride” in what they are doing. You can just tell. Energy bubbles out of them.

Can an employee at any level demonstrate pride for their job and where they work? Can a receptionist take pride in answering the phone? Can a fast-food worker take pride in cleaning tables? Can a salesperson take pride in the products or services the company sells? Of course! Generally, employees don’t have an ownership share in where they work, but they can certainly still have pride in where they work.

Normally, business owners are not the only ones who have contact with customers. Even in a small business or SME when an owner does have direct contact with customers, other employees are also the “face” of the business. The receptionist who answers the phone makes the first impression. A salesperson will give a customer a clue as to whether communications with the business will be easy or difficult. An employee in customer service immediately lets a customer know how a complaint is going to be handled. A waiter projects an image of either quality or lack of quality for a restaurant. 

Instilling Pride

So, employee pride at all levels in a business is extremely important. Some businesses are able to instill pride in employees while others fail miserably.

Instilling pride in employees takes work and determination. It does not happen by chance.

The following are keys to being successful in this area:

Show Respect – It’s a two-way street. Give respect to employees regardless of position, and respect is received back. Everyone wants to feel respected and, in turn, that respect is reflected in how employees deal with each other, management, and customers.

Pass Out Compliments – “Please, thank you, and nice job” take such little effort but produce big rewards. A paycheck is great and every employee wants one, but nonetheless each wants to feel appreciated for their efforts. When compliments are passed out, employees tend to have the same attitude toward others.

Give Periodic Reviews – Employees need and want to know how they are performing at their jobs. Without periodic reviews, employees don’t know where they stand or how to improve…being in limbo is not a good place to be. Most employees and certainly committed employees want to do the best job possible. This can only be accomplished through proper communication and feedback.

Compensate Adequately – It’s tough for many to make ends meet, but when paid “an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work,” most employees can’t complain. This doesn’t mean being the highest paid employer or paying above market value for a particular job. When employees, however, are always looking for a higher paycheck from another business, it is difficult to instill needed company pride.

Stress Quality First – Businesses that stress quality in their products, services, and actions see the same type of thinking transferred to employees and then from employees to customers. Since all employees represent a business in one form or another, they must understand the company’s philosophy and values. They can then relate these same values to co-workers and customers.

A Multitude of Actions

Attitude and pride starts at the top and works its way down. Owners and managers must lead by example and set standards for the business. It’s not one form of action, but a multitude of actions that creates pride that employees have in a business. Pride is not a directive but rather built over a period of time by action and trust. When employees from the bottom up say, “This is the best place to work,” or “We have the best product or service available,” then you know this is a business that has instilled pride in its employees.