June 2009 Be willing and receptive to take feedback from staff The soft stuff is tough!! about the business, work conditions and workplace If “people” are a significant asset in business, then improvements but then also either take some action investing in the “soft stuff” (ie people management) should based on the feedback received or communicate why pay dividends …… but it is a tough task and requires time no action was taken. and dedication! Set and communicate clear performance and remuneration expectations. An underlying and significant factor to remember is that staff need to be “valued” rather than “loved”. One loves …. and try not to do the following: their spouse, children, family etc whereas staff need to be valued and appreciated. Worry about your popularity with staff more than showing appropriate leadership to guide them and the We often see business owners who love their staff. In business. doing so, they are overly generous, indulge staff with Become too close to some staff such that it is perks, gifts and incredible working conditions and the perceived by other staff that your judgement has resulting environment is one where it becomes difficult for become impaired. the employer to put things back in perspective as their Have unclear performance or behavioural expectations generosity is taken for granted and becomes expected as such that the culture of the business suffers. “normal”. Business owners should aim to provide a safe, Do not overindulge staff with elaborate formal and enjoyable and happy working environment for the informal social events on a frequent basis. This leads betterment of staff, customers and suppliers. If too much to high expectations that may be difficult to maintain. focus is placed upon being popular with staff, this could Communicate poorly and infrequently with staff. become the downfall of the business. Yes, it is tough but…. So what can you do? If you are able to engage your people whilst making them Often the simple things have the most impact. These feel valued and appreciated, the return for your business include: will be significant. It is well known that having happy staff results in happier clients and customers which in turn leads Be polite with staff, use manners. to greater profits and improved business performance. Don’t take staff for granted. Show staff you care about them and their work The soft stuff is tough and requires continuous attention environment. whilst ensuring that the appropriate emphasis on valuing Provide informal performance feedback to staff on an staff is maintained. ad-hoc basis. Show some interest in their personal life (within appropriate boundaries). Visibly treat staff equally. Do not show favouritism. Set the behavioural expectation. As the business Written by Angelo Piantadosi, Principal, owner, model the behaviour expected of others. integr8ed business and management solutions. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 0419 846 286 www.integr8ed.com.au email@example.com po box 606 campbelltown sa 5074 This article contains brief comments which alone are not intended to be a basis for decision making. You should discuss your particular circumstances further with us or your adviser before implementing a solution.