A recent trip to the fitness center caught me by surprise.
My favorite instructor was no longer there.
I was stunned.
She was an amazing teacher who was well admired.
Her best attribute? She treated everyone the same and with grace.
She had an amazing ability to connect and quality customer service came easy to her.
It made me wonder if her employer treated her with equal care, and what the overall employee morale was like at the fitness center.
In the communications world, clients are golden. We treat them and their business/brand with the utmost respect in hopes of a long-lasting relationship. We shield them, advise them, jump through hoops for them, and champion their brand with everything we have.
Should we be treating employees similarly? Should we not shield, advise, and champion those who report to us?
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do we do all we can to keep our team happy?
- Do we provide them with the resources that allow them to be as productive as they would like to be?
- Do we make the effort to give them responsibilities that allow their strengths to shine through?
A recent article by Jack Marshall shows just how agencies are losing employees left and right due to poor working environments. I don’t have all the answers. Heck, we’ve all experienced tight budgets and limited staff.
I couldn’t help but think of servant leadership. Simply put, servant leadership is placing the needs of others first, and helping others develop and perform at their best. In Peter Shankman’s book, “Nice Companies Finish First,” he explains the cutthroat way of managing teams is a thing of the past—or we hope it to be.
Leading by example works. Perhaps some leaders forget what it’s like to be a line employee. And perhaps employees do not recognize the stressful demands leadership places on one’s shoulders. However, when both sides come to a meeting point, productivity and engagement can increase.
Friend or Foe
I once worked with a PR agency where my manager instructed me, under no circumstance, was I to enter the elevator with a talent and his publicist. It’s one of those The Devil Wears Prada moments, of which I have many. On numerous occasions this manager was frigid, controlling, and not collaborative.
Of course, this manager was feared of by most employees and, consequently, didn’t last long with the company. The flip side is witnessing the head of an organization lend a hand to set up for a board meeting. He took the time to place company materials on the desk, brew coffee and prep the audio-visual presentation.
Scenario 1: Aloof, stand-offish, energy drainer
Scenario 2: Amiable, approachable, relationship builder
Which side promotes camaraderie? Which scenario describes you?
As communicators, we surely want to exchange information in a genuine manner. Genuine interaction between management and staff is crucial. Show respect and appreciation to bring out the best in people. This results in a domino effect. What you give, you receive.
What’s the benefit? Employee Morale. Morale. Morale.
So think about it: How can you help your employees succeed?