There’s the door

Apr 10
[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”] A friend of mine popped round for a cuppa last night and was chatting about his work. More specifically about the ‘employee engagement survey’ that had been done.

I am obviously intrigued.

A few months back this very large employer asked their employees how they felt. Things were less than positive. There were a number of problems with toilets, tools and various other things that people were fed up of.

They made some changes. Brilliant.

Recently the employees were surveyed again. They were still not happy. So management said, that’s fine you know where the door is. Literally off you go if you don’t like it.

Not quite so good.

So now you have a workforce that have been heard and told tough luck. Not very useful for productivity. Speaking of which a number of the complaints related to the business processes that were slowing down productivity, the employees were actually trying to work smarter and harder.

Maybe the employees were asking for things that were unrealistic or costly this time round.

Maybe the employers are just not willing to meet their demands.
Either way there is now quite a big problem.

You see an employee survey raising expectations of change, the employees had especially good and recent example of this. Now though they have just been told, “We don’t care about you”. This breaks the most important contract between employer and employee, the psychological contract.

Ultimately both parties need each other. At one point they both thought they were each other’s best option. But it’s not easy to stay like that. Things change. People change. Businesses change. A psychological contract is one that recognises that each person is valued in those changes, every day.

Building a psychological contract with employees says that you can keep caring about each other long term. You can build a long and profitable relationship. It’s about setting realistic expectations and listening and reacting to each other. It’s just the same as having a long and happy marriage.

You are not always going to agree but you are willing to compromise. Some of the employee’s requests may have been extreme but work with that. So they want a swimming pool. If you can get efficiency to X or sales to Y then you can have it. Why not? Isn’t it better to have a fully engaged, driven workforce than one that thinks you don’t care about them?

Employers who reward ‘above and beyond’ behaviours get more above and beyond behaviours from their team. Companies with happy staff who work toward the companies goals are more productive, profitable and successful. Now wouldn’t that be better for everyone?
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