I work with a lot of business owners who wish their employees would do more and do better.  They wonder how to boost morale, gain their employee’s respect, and how to get employees to take the initiative.  All too often, the company culture is one of us vs. them, management vs. employees.  Over the years, I’ve found one thing that works wonders for gaining employee respect, involvement, and boosting morale.  It’s simply to get out the toolbelt! 

Many business owners spend so much time managing the business they get stuck behind the desk.  They consequently lose touch with employees and the work that needs to be done.  When they lose touch, the gap between management and employees widens causing poor communication, misunderstandings, and other roadblocks to performance.  Trust decreases, morale decreases, and performance suffers.

Most employees want to do a good job.  They also want to be respected and heard.  A business owner can’t do that unless he’s there and listening.  If you’re stuck behind a desk, you can’t be there and you can’t listen!  However, when you get out the toolbelt and go to work side-by-side with employees, you can’t help but be there to listen and to see first hand what’s working and not working.  When employees see that you are willing to do what you ask them to do and that they are being listened to, they gain a new respect for you as the business owner.

You in essence become one of them not just a suit, or the owner, or that guy signing their paycheck.  You become a human being.  What’s even more important is that they are no longer just employees, but they are Joe and Sally and Steve…real people!  So if you haven’t in a while, get out your toolbelt and go to work and you’ll change your company, guaranteed!

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