Proactive leaders "get it" about treating their employees well but I run across many others who don't share that perspective. Many leaders and organizations tend to focus on the bottom line at the exclusion of everything else. This leaves their employees struggling to keep up with ever-increasing demands to do more work in less time and at a higher level. This has the predictable result of burning people out and creating unhappy workplaces.
I've found that organizations can be highly productive and support their employees but that approach isn't even on the radar in many workplaces.
Leaders and organizations demonstrate how much they value their people by the actions they take. Here are 20 signs you might be valuing other things instead of your employees.
- You have high employee turnover.
- You give out commands but don't ask for feedback.
- HR is just a way to avoid lawsuits.
- People get shown the door quickly if they don't like company policies or go against the status quo.
- There is low morale and motivation and people seem unhappy.
- Productivity is low even though you've tried many things to increase it.
- Your employees shrug or look perplexed when you say, "Employees come first in this company."
- Your workplace is consistently more stressful than it has to be and it's affecting people's performance.
- Leadership doesn't listen to employees.
- Leadership makes unilateral decisions without seeking input from employees at every level.
- Information is hoarded at the top.
- There's little two-way communication between leadership and employees.
- Employees are viewed as expendable, as in, "There's more where she came from," or, "If you don't like it, I've got a hundred other people who could fill this job."
- You offer very few opportunities for advancement.
- Limited or non-existent training and educational opportunities.
- You say things like, "At least he's got a job," or "I'm providing jobs for people," to justify a less than wonderful work environment.
- Touchy-feely is a bad word in your organization.
- Diversity is a scary and contentious concept in your workplace.
- You notice chronic ongoing conflict between employees.
- Lack of benefits for employees.
These types of behaviors happen all the time in innumerable workplaces. The remarkable thing is that many leaders seem to think that it's the only way to run an organization. Thankfully, we now know that we can create thriving and highly productive organizations while treating our employees well the moment leaders choose to do so. What do you do to make sure your employees feel valued?