Tuesday, December 1, 2015

10 Reasons to Treat Employees as People Not Assets

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This post was originally posted on this site.

10 reasons to treat employees as people not assets

For many businesses, nothing is more important than the bottom line. It determines if the lights stay on or not. But there’s a hidden danger there: treating your employees as if they’re nothing more than cogs in a machine. Once you’re in that mindset, you’ll find yourself on the losing end of a long and hard battle. Why does it matter? I’ll give you ten good reasons.

1. They’re family to someone

It may have no bearing on your company, but your employees are someone’s mother, father or child. They mean something very dear to someone else. You likely have family or someone who cares about you, so you know how truly important each person is in the life of another. When you examine your relationship to your employees through this kind of filter, you’ll see them in a completely different way, one of respect and kindness. That’s the kind of treatment your employees deserve.

2. They are human

Even if you have employees who don’t have family, or at least none that you know of, they’re still human and deserve to be treated as such. They’re not just a number on a clipboard or an entry in an HR database. Those workers depend upon you as much as you depend upon them. If you want to enjoy a happy staff of employees, you most certainly should consider viewing them as human instead of profit generators.

3. You were once at the bottom

Unless you came from very special (or privileged) circumstances, you were once at the bottom of the corporate ladder. Remember how that felt? Remember wanting to be more than just a cog in the machine, greasing the wheels for someone else? Each of those employees could be the next “you.” In fact, they could wind up being your boss at some point.

4. Your reputation depends upon it

The world we live in is very, very small. The second word gets out that you treat employees as if they’re nothing more than a way for you to build your financial portfolio, your company could find itself on the bad side of a beast called “reputation.” You may scoff at this, but with Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites spreading information faster than most PR teams can keep up, every company is just one bad move away from ruin.

5. They aren’t slave labor

I hesitate to even add this, because slave labor does exist and needs to be abolished immediately, but in a world where corporate greed is used as an excuse for inhumane treatment of workforces, it needs to be mentioned. You cannot in any way treat your employees as if they are yours to command and conquer. Do not be this type of owner or manager. Period. Do not let your company, something you’ve worked so hard to build, turn into tragedy.

6. They could have your next brilliant idea

Your employees are the ones that work closely with your product or service. They know best what works and doesn’t work. You never know if one of those employees will develop the next idea that could easily take your product to unimaginable of levels of success. Treat employees as if they hold the key to an idea that could make your company more profitable.

7. If they leave…

For whatever reason, employees do leave. When they leave, they carry with them emotions, experiences, secrets, data and much more. If you treat them as if they’re nothing but your pawns, that could easily backfire. Yes, those employees have probably signed NDAs and other documents that would protect you in a court of law, but not in the court of public opinion. It’s that latter court which could quickly bring you to ruin.

8. They reflect your vision

If you’ve built your company correctly, your employees reflect and share the vision you have for the company and its future. With that in place, employees will work hard to ensure that vision is made real. If employees don’t reflect your vision and instead reflect nothing but your greed or mismanagement, your vision simply won’t come to fruition.

9. Karma

You may not believe in Karma, but many people do. But even if you don’t believe in this reference to the principle of causality, the idea that no bad deed goes unpunished is very real. This goes back to reputation and if employees leave. Every action you make could have an equal and opposite (or parallel) reaction. If you treat employees as if they don’t matter, karma could reach through the ether and slap you across your profit reports.

10. They are the reason you have a bottom line

To put it plainly and simply, without your employees you wouldn’t have a bottom line. Never forget that. Sure, you could just replace them, but what happens when the next round revolts and you have to replace them, too? Eventually you’re going to find you’ve spent more resources in training new employees over and over again than you have on improving profitability.
It shouldn’t have to be said that all companies, regardless of size, should see their employees as far more than just a way to improve the bottom line. Sadly, it is an idea (or ideal) that needs frequent repeating as many businesses still have not grasped this concept or have long forgotten about it. As you work your way up the corporate ladder, or as you reflect on how you’ve handled standing on top of that ladder all along, make sure you aren’t one of “those” leaders.

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