One time, I had a job I didn't love. Haven't we all?
I remember dragging my feet to show up, every single day. I watched the clock like a hawk and barely put in my hours. Terrible, I know. These people had invested in me to help their company grow and here I was, stuck on Instagram, scrolling through other people's lives that I wanted to live instead.
The thing is, if anyone had asked me how you could turn my attitude around, the answer would have been simple. But, no one ever asked. So I kept trudging until I could trudge no longer.
It wasn't always like this. I remember the thrill of the first few months. I wanted to be part of this company like no other. I was proud and I was excited until time wore me down and I no longer cared.
So many people experience this in companies all over the world, but how does it happen?
How can we stop this? How can we hire those who are qualified and mold them into a role and future roles that are beneficial for both parties?
If they mess up, it's not the end of the world. If they do well, let them know.
Of course, a big slip-up is never a pleasant experience for anyone. You're upset, your employee is ashamed, and maybe the client involved is disappointed. But, what you do from here is what matters most.
Amine Rahal, CEO of IronMonk Solutions, says he does this with his team:
"A big policy worth implementing is to never punish them when they fail in doing something. Simply ask why they failed and what they learned from it.
When you're happy with their work, show it to them by thanking them publicly, not just privately. People like to feel valued within a team, which is why a private email doesn't have the same effect."
Think about this in your own life. No one likes being publicly reprimanded for a mistake - we're human, after all. Although business can feel transactional, do your best to implement a more personal element. This is what makes people thrive.
It's a given: You are beyond busy. Your inbox is overflowing with one hundred too many emails and everyone needed an answer from you last week. Regardless, make time for your employees.
They are your front line and the biggest advocates for the company, so make it easy for them to talk to the company's purest visionary. Eric Yuan, CEO and founder of Zoom thinks you should:
"Keep the lines of communication open, both in terms of you expressing your vision as a leader, and in terms of letting your employees know they have a voice and that you're listening. I believe it's important for even C-level executives to have an open door policy and create frequent opportunities for employees to share anonymous feedback."
I still remember working for a company that had such an incredible open door policy. The founders worked directly with us and always created room to share our thoughts whether they were good or bad.
They reminded us that our efforts were a direct correlation of the company's success. That made my co-workers and I feel on top of the world.
Create Opportunities For Employees To Lead
It's one thing to share inspirational quotes. It's another thing to implement the meaning of those quotes. After all is said and done, give people the space to flourish.
So, when someone comes to you with a new proposition, Yuan says you should "encourage these ideas as long as they support the key initiatives of the company."
For example, Zoom has a Chief Happiness Officer who is also one of the company's salespeople. She pitched the idea of being an CHO and took it upon herself to create an unprecedented and genuine company culture, simply because she wanted to. Yuan made sure to create a space where employees could do things just like this.
All in all, the results from implementing any of the above can be exponentially positive. As long as leaders cultivate space and encourage a natural flow of ideas, anything is possible.