The future wave of business is to sustain a mindset that nurtures, supports and respects each person. We are moving from self-focus to focused service.
To “focus” translates in the business world as being fully engaged in your company. It means being motivated to bring excellence to each task you perform. It means feeling good about going to work each morning. Do your employees feel that way?
Many companies are realizing that thoughtful perks and benefits promote employee engagement and loyalty. Large corporations and forward-thinking companies offer a diverse variety of benefits, ranging from providing on-site recreation facilities to offering profit-sharing plans, bereavement leave, elder-care subsidies and domestic-partner insurance coverage.
Intel offers online homework help for its employees’ children, subsidies for public transportation, access to wellness coaches and paid sabbaticals.
Merck offers many on-site day care and fitness centers as well as on-site banking services.
Google offers free gourmet food, on-site laundry, dry-cleaning and alterations, an outdoor sports complex and a star-studded lineup of speakers.
But what if you’re a small business running without extra cash on hand to support such lavish perks?
What can you offer your employees to have them engaged in their work and supporting your company’s vision?
Years ago I worked for the CEO of a small company. He became my mentor and role model. Why? Simply stated, he cared. It wasn’t about him – it was about us. He was down to earth and approached people as equals. A homeless man wandered into our building one day. Jerry took him up to his office and quietly listened to him — giving him as much time as he would have given to a prospect or client. You knew you were valued in his presence as he treated everyone with respect and thoughtfulness.
As employees we knew we were appreciated and reciprocated with dedication to his company. He was generous — often treating us to long fun lunches, giving us the opportunity to know one another better. I was allowed to leave early every day to honor other commitments, plus attend an outside meeting once a week. He trusted his employees and he earned our trust, loyalty and engagement.
Offering creative and individualized benefits are a powerful part of the new business mindset.
Below are a few simple concepts that reflect the new 21st century model:
» Being present, non-judgmental, accepting, inclusive and welcoming
» Meeting people at their level
» Listening with empathy
» Mobilizing, inspiring and valuing your employees
» Operating your business with integrity, trust and compassion
These factors will lead us from competitiveness to cooperation, selfishness to selflessness, and from waste to wise stewardship.
How are you valuing your employees and showing your appreciation?
“Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission.”
~Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox Corporation