To retain good workers, lead by example and respect people who work hard for you to create a productive, comfortable environment.
- TIP: Formal employee teamwork awards and bonus programs can deepen everyone's commitment to the company's mission.
- Step 1: Earn respect by taking responsibility for failures. Inspire an unspoken campaign against a culture of blame that can sap pride and energy from the enterprise.
- Step 2: Inform employees of the company's financial status, setbacks, and changes in direction. Be the caring, open boss you always wanted to have.
- FACT: The Great Place to Work Institute reported findings in 2008 indicating that occupational safety and health performance is a significant component of employee morale.
- Step 3: Encourage employees to think big, strive, grow, and challenge themselves. Take risks to explore and develop strategies suggested by employees to increase their investment in the job.
- Step 4: Lead with integrity, letting them know what they can expect and delivering on time, without qualification.
- Step 5: Model sacrifice by taking a cut in pay when profits are down without cutting employee pay rates or laying anyone off.
- TIP: Suffer with your employees -- work late when you ask them to work late.
- Step 6: Instill an emotional attachment to the company vision by plotting a course and forecasting triumphs on the horizon. Invite workers to make it happen by clarifying steps toward long- and short-range goals.
- Step 7: Maintain an open-door policy and listen to criticism and suggestions. Get out and walk the floor to learn firsthand what goes on. Get to know the people who make the company run.