Make your employees succeed
10 November 2021
When we start our business, we often have a unique idea that solves a customer’s problem, a new technology or product that disrupts the market.
If we can produce or provide that product or service for less than what it costs us, we can earn a profit, and if our customers value what we provide more than what they pay, they earn a “profit” as well. (This is why we say or feel “it’s worth it” when we buy a product or service.)
That principle is “shared value.” Both our business and our customers get value when the business operates and the transaction takes place – so, customers are happy to pay for having their MP3 player in their flip phone for example, and the business is happy to earn a profit from selling it.
But a business won’t thrive over time if it does not create shared value for its employees too. Shared value for them is more than trading their time for a paycheck. People need engagement, challenge, the chance to lean and advance, to be valued. . . oh wait, that sounds an awful lot like what we get from being an entrepreneur.
A new business might be able to survive the short term by virtue of a head start or sheer will, especially if there is investment money to support it, but beyond that, a business needs engaged, creative and productive employees to succeed.
Here are some basic principles for a new leader to consider, especially when making the transition from founder to leader:
- Listen to your employees, without interrupting, without judgement and maybe not even responding other than to repeat back what you heard.
- Spend a few minutes in an attempt to look at what the job and business looks like from the employee’s position.
- Does the employee’s experience in the job match what the business needs, what the job description is, and what the employee can do?
- What about the employee’s future path, challenges, and potential achievements?
- Does each employee understand the company’s mission, goals, and his or her part?
Simply put, a business cannot succeed if its employees don’t.
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