Wednesday, October 17, 2007

How to Win Employees and Influence People

It's been interesting at work lately. Running my own business, I enjoy the random times when someone does or says something at work that I can implement in my own side hustle. Someone was telling me about the incredible feats that have been performed to pull off a fund-raising program and little did he know he was confirming all my partner and I have done to get our own show on the road.

And then there was some talk about my boss. Good talk. Loyal talk. Praising talk. Life's been a challenge for her lately and we all know it. Those of us in her boat, or one of her boats, understand it. We, her editorial team, applaud her ability to do all she does with grace and style. So the gentleman with whom I was talking said, "She's really good. She's got the lowest turnover in the company."

"She's got NO turnover. Trust me, we've all worked other jobs and we know what it could be like. Half of us are mothers and I think her being in the same place as life as we are makes a difference."

We agreed that money is important but it isn't everything and that is probably what motivates most, if not all, of us - we all have our agendas and family is a big one, including for Boss Lady.

"The fact is," I told him, "she isn't watching every little thing we do commenting on the time we show up. She respects us for our abilities and in turn we do everything we can because we love what we do AND because she deserves it. Trust me, if I were at my old job, telling them that I have to get my son on the school bus first at 8:22 THEN drop off my daughter, I doubt I'd still be there."

She understands that our lives are not linear, simple organisms, nor do we want them to be. Things change DAILY. Things come up. As long as the job gets done, why must employers hound folk to stick to some stupid clock? Yes, I know some jobs require it. My last job was forever talking about the California clients and the need to be available to them, but I suppose that's at the expense of a person's other priorities in life, eh?

"A good leader has the ability to empower people. If you're a good leader, people don't even know they are being led!" It's funny. I would expect to really be keeping an eye on the higher ups of my company to see what kinds of things I need to incorporate into my own business. But in actuality, it is my own somewhat demur (I don't think she'd buy this 100%), witty, and humble boss who is the example that is worth following. She's got us all pow-wowing trying to figure out what to do for her simply because we like her and want to put a smile on her face, given the way life is treating her right now. She absolutely makes us all feel like we are the most capable people in the world and she appreciates how we all bring ourselves into this place and it works for her. It works for us too.

My business partner and I have no intentions of having employees. Only contractors, but it's all the same. We too believe in treating people like we want to be treated. Empowering people, especially once they've proven they can do the job to the satisfaction of all involved. The gentleman at work was explaining about the potential success of his fund-raiser all because he showed heart and enabled other people to show it too. That is how you win employees and influence people. Making friends, not always showing dominance. Hands off. Show appreciation. Keep your priorities straight.

I wonder what things would be like if every company found a way to show their employees that they too believe that family/life/God is most important and everything else - EVERYTHING else - is really just a form of supporting and uplifting those so let's act like it, shall we?

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