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Employees: They Can Make or Break a Small Business

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Alert to employers: Employees do not work for you; they work for themselves. As an employer you have goals and aspirations for your business. Why would you think your employees are any different? Your employees are using you as a conduit to realize their own personal goals and dreams. If both parties succeed then it’s a win-win for both the business and the employee.

Stifling Production

You may have heard a news story about Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Meyer’s decision to halt all work at home policies. Anyone who was working at home must now make the commute to the office and occupy a cubical. Hubert Joly, of Best Buy, also issued a similar directive to his employees. Is this a smart move and will it improve employee production?

Marissa Meyer’s position is that if all employees are allowed to interact with each other ideas and improvements flow more freely. I would agree that there is some truth to that.

Where Marissa and I part company is the timeline when the policy is put in place. If you hire workers with the up front understanding that office attendance is a work requirement — that’s one thing, but to suddenly upset the lives of employees that have been productive at home is quite another.

Lifestyle and Production

Workers who didn’t have huge gas bills and day care expenses will now have to budget those items with no increase in compensation. In my opinion, the only free flowing ideas at Yahoo and Best Buy will be resentment against the company.

The unintended consequence of this practice is how employees spend their off hours. Employees typically spend 40 hours working for you each week and 40 hours or so sleeping. There are 168 hours in a week leaving 88 hours where the employee is free to tell anyone will listen about how they are treated at work.

It’s a Matter of Trust

If employees want to scam the system, they are going to find ways to do that whether they work at home or at the office. A good employee is a good employee wherever they are because they have their own individual motivation to succeed.

If the company goals are also achieved, due to the employees performance, that’s a plus for the employer as well as the employee.

Some Final Thoughts

It costs $3,500 to recruit and hire the average employee in the United States. If you think employees are just warm bodies that are easily replaced you would be sorely mistaken. Employees are a huge investment in your success but their production is tied directly to how they are treated. There is a fine line between leadership and dictatorship.

The former will produce way more profit than the latter. Which type of boss are you?

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