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Treat your employees like your best customers

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 18 July 2018   |   By Isang Lekhutile

We have few months left before December. Presents will be exchanged and customers will be treated likes kings and queens at the expense of employees. The business world is an intriguing and interesting phenomenon and often the interesting part is the way employees are forgotten during festive season. Employees are the key resources an organisation can have.

Regrettably, employee engagement is sometimes like an afterthought for some if not most employers. Instead of eagerly engaging employees at all levels of the business structure and embedding as part of the business culture, most companies do not solicit feedback on the well being of their employees. Since employees are invaluable assets of an organisation and the strategic competitive edge depends on it, entities should give a undivided attention to employees’ needs and wellbeing. A well looked after employee is a motivated employee who normally is sterling steward to the strategic survival of the company. Employers who consistently cater for their employees’ needs both psychologically and physically attract best brains to sustain its innovation, growth and survival.

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Indeed, appeasing shareholders is critical for most company Chief Executives through value creation more often than not this is achieved at the expense of employee well-being. However, it is a fact that a happy employ is more productive and significantly contribute to wealth creation for the shareholders. As a result, company leaders should be a principal priority.

According to Erin Ehrlich (2015) defines employee engagement as the emotional and functional commitment an employee has to achieving the mission of the organization. He expressed that in most companies, employers proffer lip service instead of genuinely and sincerely engaging employees to address their needs. Another renowned scholar Anne M. Mulcahy once said “Employees are a company's greatest asset - they're your competitive advantage”.

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Have you considered your house maid to be an asset to you and your kids? The same applies to a herd man whom manages your biological assets in your absence? If you want to attract and retain the best employees offer them encouragement and stimulate them to feel and perform better as an integral part of the company. This will contribute to achievement for the goals and mission of the organisation”. 

The most important factor to an employee is to feel appreciated and respected. And recognition really matters.  Satisfied employees are simply more productive and more efficient. They tend to work harder, contribute more and hardly fall sick. I am of the opinion that employees who are engaged at work will be more than willing to help out when the company they work for pursues a noble cause. I am not saying this because of my profession as an HR Practitioner, few friends of mine have shared with me their sentiments about their job, organisations and managers. Early signs are very vitals for manager to measure the level of engagement and satisfaction of employees.

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I wish more companies in Botswana could conduct seminars and conference to create more awareness on this subject. This is one of the many business challenges faced by business companies in Botswana. Managers expect employees to be loyal and engaged but how do you engage your employees?  Scholars and academics of commerce like Sandhya Sridevi believes that employee engagement is stronger predictor of positive organizational performance clearly showing the two-way relationship between employer and employee compared to the three earlier constructs: job satisfaction, employee commitment and organizational citizenship behaviour.

Why should the company invest in employee engagement? The answer is obvious. Studies have found positive relationship between employee engagement and organizational performance outcomes: employee retention, productivity, profitability, customer loyalty and safety. Researches also indicate that the more engaged employees are, the more likely their employer is to exceed the industry average in its revenue growth.

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Personally, one of the strategies which I consider a winning formula is the Visible Felt Leadership. A successful strategy depends on corporate culture, organization structure, resource allocation, compensation program, information system, etc. Therefore, we can say that the firm’s performance is not so much a result of the firm’s strategy but a result of the firm’s ability to implement the strategy effectively.  

 According to David Brim (2009), in regards to business, too many times people focus on tactics without having a proper overall strategy in place. Sun Tzu often wrote about the importance of strategy and the wisdom that he shared is still extremely applicable today whether you’re referring to business, sports, or military endeavours. Felt leadership is a public proclamation of an organization’s commitment to caring about people. It is a building block in constructing trust and real-world relationships among employees, customers, shareholders and communities. Be there to your employees and there will be there for you as a manager. Engage your employee in decision making process and formulation of company missions and vision and your employees will own up the mission statement of their company. I am not an expert in this field but even the bible says so in John 13: 34 says “As I have loved you, so you must love one another”. If you care and love your employees they will do the same to you.

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A successful strategy depends on corporate culture, organization structure, resource allocation, compensation program, information system, etc. Thus we can say that the firm’s performance is not so much a result of the firm’s strategy but a result of the firm’s ability to implement the strategy effectively.   



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