HR Management, Leadership

Keeping Employees Happy? Hey CEOs, This Isn’t Rocket Science

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Are you tired of hearing about all of the ways you can make your company a “win-win?”

Yeah, I know the jargon gets old — but the goal shouldn’t.

As much as I don’t like jargon, business leaders can achieve a win-win in their organizations. It’s not difficult but does require effort and accountability from the rest of management. A splash of empathy always helps, too.

When employees are happy, customers are happy

CEOs need to shift their focus from their customers to their employees. No, I’m not crazy. I get that it’s the customers and ongoing business development that keeps the lights on. What’s hard to see however (and I’m sorry to say that I’ve seen it first hand), is when companies put a higher priority on customers and numbers than they do on their employees.

It’s not a difficult concept. When employees are happy, customers will be happy. When customers are happy, the bottom line will take care of itself.

On the flip side, do you think employees will go overboard for a customer when they don’t feel they’re being treated fairly? Think they’ll burn that midnight oil for you at crunch time?

Leaders and CEOs have a lot on their plates. When it comes to how to treat people right, maybe this seems like an overwhelming undertaking. I understand that, too. But it doesn’t need to be complicated.

Good leadership MUST start from the top so that it can trickle down to the rest of management. This is not negotiable. The responsibility of providing good leadership shouldn’t fall on HR’s shoulders because HR doesn’t run the company — the CEO does.

Six leaderships basics

HR should be coaching and promoting good leadership styles, but at the end of the day, it has to start at the top. So now that we have that clear, here are a few basics:

  • Listen to new ideas. You never know who will come up with the next “big” one.
  • Provide good feedback. People want to know how they’re doing. It is a big deal. Don’t take it for granted.
  • Celebrate the little victories publicly. It’s free and goes a long way. Trust me.
  • Be sure that folks are learning from mistakes. If they’re not, take action.
  • Don’t get hung up on surveys. Leave your office and visit the trenches. You won’t melt if you mingle with the underlings, I promise.
  • Communicate and communicate more! People feel valued when they know what’s going on in the organization.

Get out of the boardroom, ditch your ego, and apply that basic psychology and some common sense to your leadership style. Be sure the entire management team is doing the same thing. Rinse and repeat.

In an environment that needs change, it will be slow but you will see a positive difference.

This was originally published on Kimberly Patterson’s Unconventional HR blog.

Kimberly Patterson is the founder of Unconventional HR. An HR pro turned consultant, she has 25 years of progressive experience as a strategic HR and business leader in a variety of industries. Her hands-on and innovative approach allows her to create and deliver HR solutions to meet business challenges and needs by managing human capital, talent acquisition and technology. Connect with her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kimberly_patt, or at kim@unconventionalhr.com .
  • http://loveyourway.net loveyourway

    It’s weird how much company culture is tied up in the CEO and/or the exec. team and how little those pieces of the organization are usually involved. Great post, Kimberly.

  • Magdelaine

    In the Aged Care sector Facility Managers are the one’s that carry the responsibility. Therapists such as myself are in a win-win situation – we provide services such as organizing bus trips, special cultural days and many other different activities. We listen to our clients and communicate with them daily. We love what we do, the clients love what we do and what they get to do. I wouldnt be a facility manager for all the pay on earth.