When I started my career, I worked for a very successful entrepreneur who always enjoyed the social side of the business. He would throw an office party to share success with the group and show his feelings of appreciation for his employees. One thing he said to me, though, struck me as a little off through my entire career. “Don’t ever get too close to your employees,” he warned me. “If you do, it becomes harder to pull away if you have to.” I presume he meant, it becomes harder to fire someone. Whatever his reason, that was one thing he and I didn’t agree on. I believe, that in order to retain good people, you have to go beyond the paycheck.
A fairly recent survey on The Plain Dealer cleveland.com website asked respondents, What’s the most important factor in your job satisfaction? Naturally, most (23.97%) said, “Pay that’s fair for the work I do”. Well, sure… or as my kids will say, “well, duh”… the paycheck is what we all work for.
But, a close runner-up among respondents (20.79%) was “Knowing that I am appreciated by the people I work for.”
So, my gut instinct was right, all along. Recognizing a good job and rewarding an employee with a that’s the spirit congratulatory phone call, a stop by an employee’s office for a personal chat, a one-on-one lunch, or, maybe, a surprise gift of a weekend getaway… goes a long way in retaining good people. On a more personal level, if one among us is celebrating a special family anniversary, birthday, or a graduation, I like the idea of stopping by or calling to offer my personal congratulations.
We’ve all been through difficult times during the past few years. I’ve had to make some tough decisions that forced Shamrock to run hard and lean. But it helped us to remain healthy as an organization. These decisions affected my people; some more than others. But, these decisions also made us stronger as the Shamrock family, so that we’re positioned to enjoy the days ahead.
ONE FINAL THOUGHT
Everyone of us, from clients to vendors to employees may, at some time, have problems at work or outside the workplace. Those who know me, know that my door is always open for a confidential discussion. I may not always have the right answer or solution for the problem, but I’ll do everything I can to offer each of you honest advice and counsel.