Many Small Businesses are “solopreneurs“, so this post won’t apply to them… now. Hopefully, many of these one-person enterprises will expand, and gain staff members or working partners. But there are those Small Business which have employees: managing them well can determine the difference between success and failure.
Your employees are the face of your business – usually the first people your customers and clients will have contact with. To most of them, your employees ARE your company. How well your employees understand the mission and focus of your business, and whether these employees treat your clients with courtesy and respect, shapes the reputation and public image of the company and brand you work hard to establish.
Just as you should never take you clients for granted, you cannot afford to overlook the importance of training and managing your employees. Treat them like mere “workers”, and they will only be in it for the paycheck, unconcerned with the effect they have on your clients who, without exaggeration, ARE your business. You must treat your employees as the partners they are – enroll them in the dream, the long-term goal, and not just the short-term pay-off.
It has been well established that people will take a job that pays less if they feel they will be treated more respectfully, included in the decision-making and provided greater challenges and opportunity to prove themselves. They’ll actually work harder and longer if they feel they have a stake in the ultimate outcome.
Think about it: How many times have you dealt with the rude bank teller, the argumentative customer service representative or the condescending auto mechanic? Is this the type of person you want to be the face of your business? An employee treated as a mere “worker bee” is likely to be frustrated and spend each day watching the clock, feeling miserable and unappreciated. It costs you nothing to treat your employees with respect, courtesy and interest.
Satisfied employees are your ultimate promoters – their enthusiasm will be infectious and have a powerful impact on your customers, face-to-face, over the phone and even in email communication. An involved employee instinctively understands the value of quality customer care, and won’t have to be constantly reminded to follow up and follow through.
The return on investing in your employees will be have a measurable effect on your bottom line, your customers’ satisfaction and client retention. By contrast, a dismissive attitude of “my way, or the highway” is the surest way to guarantee that both your employees and your clients take you up on your offer… to take their time and money elsewhere.
Series inspired by “Top Ten Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail” by: Connie Holt, E.A. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Henssler Financial Group Position Paper
© 2004 The Henssler Financial Group | www.henssler.com