Do You Value and Respect Your Employees?
I could tell you about the good companies, that I have worked for, who really knew how to respect and treat their employees well. I have also posted in the past about a recent not so great work experience, with a company that treated their employees and contractors very poorly and with no respect what so ever.
The real truth is simple. How a company treats their employees has a direct co-relation to what the employee will do for them. A single quality manager who cares (or even fakes it really well) can salvage a poor company for a while. However, if they are replaced or if they get emotionally poisoned by a company with an oppressive, unappreciative system, even they can not keep things going forever.
When I was younger, I used to work for this cool company in Toronto. In a little, bright orange building, on Queen St E an elderly Jewish gentleman owned and operated a paint store. That paint store was started decades before (around WWII if my memory serves) by his mother. He was born in the same building that ended up housing the store for many years.
Working for this man was perhaps one of my true first understanding of how great some companies can treat their employees. While I was hired as a delivery driver, he also decided that as far as he was concerned, there was no reason I could not do anything that needed done within the business. He had no concerns about me serving his top end designer clients, or the long term contractors who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at his business in a single year. He had no issues, because he honestly believed that I was capable of doing any of it, without a major problem.
With out fail he gave each employee in the store a bonus every year. And without fail he took the entire staff (as well as the wallpaper manufacturing branch his sons ran) out for a fancy sit down dinner every year.
He never once in three years working for him, ever raised his voice to me. He never once ran me down for a mistake. The only issue I ever had was that even at 90 years old, the guy would climb on top of piles of 5 gallon paint cans to dig through wallpaper to find the one roll of ancient stock, he knew he had left (as far as that went, he was always right). And no matter how many times we asked to let us get it for him, he still climbed up those piles the second our backs were turned.
Respect Is A Two Way Street
This man he knew how to treat his employees. He would never ask you to do something he could do himself (even if he really should let you do it). He walked in that store the first thing every morning (even at 90) and he closed the doors most nights. He worked along side you and talked to you as an equal. He expected respect, but he also gave it back in return.
I last worked in that store between 15 and 20 years ago. I do know that a few years ago, the building burnt down, and I have never heard, but there is not much doubt in my mind that he must have long since passed on. But I do still think of that place I worked so many years ago. I remember how he treated me and others working there and I compare it to other places I have worked.
It really makes me sad to say that very few companies compare to that one older gentleman who treated his employees so great. For companies not understanding what the return on this is.
About a year before I left, the owner had a heart attack. Many of the staff dropped in and out of his hospital room when they were allowed. We ferried him around on our time off. We picked him up and dropped him off until he was allowed to drive again. This was not done as part of our job, or because he ordered us to. It was something we did because we wanted to, we liked him, we had respect for him, and, honestly because he had earned it with the way he treated us.
The quality of how a person is treated at their working place really does affect their productivity, and their overall quality of life. I know this because I have lived on both sides of the equation and when you the quality of how a person is treated in the workplace deteriorates so does productivity and a person’s overall quality of life outside of work as well.
This post is a sponsored post for Sodexo’s Recognition in the Workplace promotion. The full experience above is actually how I was treated at one of my best jobs I have had in my adult life