Incredible That Business Reputation is Overlooked
By business articles and experts like Harvard Business and the Fiscal Times reputation is brought up over and over. Though in many cases not directly said reputations are being discussed. Even though employee engagement, motivation, spending cuts, and asking more may be the topics, the reflection is on the companies. Here’s an example. http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/01/21/Too-Cheap-with-Your-Valued-Staff-Know-the-Risks.aspx
When the economy is poor the companies are in even more power. Really where is an employee going to go? The perception is there are no jobs out there. But as stated so well in the above article there will be repercussions. But instead of employees leaving let’s talk about when they quit and stay.
If employee disengagement is getting mentioned this is really about employees doing the least or minimum in their jobs. In other words they are getting by. It’s not bad enough for termination and it’s not good enough for recognition and praise. For various reason but mostly because there is now a dis-connect from their manager or company and there is a feeling they are not cared about. Thus the response becomes quitting, well as much as is possible and still keep the job.
There is a lot of talk happening about employee engagement because it has huge costs. There are the monetary costs of course but there are also the costs in poor customer service, employees being indifferent or showing frustrations, customers leaving, employees leaving, and yes the company’s reputation.
What the discussions need to start focusing on is the ways to correct this. This is not and will not be a quick fix. Nor should it be. Once the training has been done to the front line managers and the employees are responding with more engagement there must also be an emphasis on the maintenance of the team.
Everything a manager or business does affects the reputation. And employees notice.
Without fail, employees will notice when there is a lack of accountability at any business, and it doesn’t matter what industry is being discussed. It is almost certain that employees will test the boundaries, especially when there is a new supervisor. Employees will test to see where the lines are. You would think this would stop after the employees get to know the manager, but without accountability they will check on the lines again. The fact of the matter is that employees are more secure when they know where the boundaries are. And they want to know. No one likes to make mistakes, and most want to do a job well, so this makes sense. Accountability is crucial to the task of defining the boundaries and keeping the employees on track. This is the daily process of not letting things go and giving attention to the work being done. Small corrections and guidance using passive confrontation before things turn into problems is a key tool in this process. It is being involved and knowing what keeps the employees going. Knowing the operation and seeing when something is off track makes for an involved manager, and gets the issue corrected before it turns into disciplinary actions. The employees feel the manager cares about the job and the people doing the job. When accountability is lacking, the employees will talk about this in negative way. It will seem to the employee that no one cares about the job. This is not a great message at the least. Keeping employees accountable reinforces expectations for the employees as well as their responsibility to customers.