Building a Model of Prosperity: Who’s Job is it?

This word prosperity has been thrown around a lot lately and if you have not heard it, I assume you live under a rock. What is prosperity anyway? With a little help from my friend google.com, I found two definitions. One states that prosperity is successfulness, having good fortune; the condition of prospering. The other, which I found intriguing (doesn’t take much) was an economic state of growth with rising profits and full employment. Considering myself an intelligent woman, I think I would have no choice but to interpret this definition to mean that helping our community prosper lies largely in the hands of businesses. When our businesses prosper, the employees that work there prosper, when employees prosper, their families prosper, when families prosper, communities prosper, and when communities prosper, businesses prosper. Are you seeing the pattern here?

OK, humor me while I lead you to my point; it’s coming, I promise! When I said that when businesses prosper, the employees prosper, I truly believe that, but everyone has a different view of what prosperity is and also what success is. What makes a business prosper? Some will say it is the customers that make them successful but there are quite a few diamonds in the ruff out there that will say it is the employees that make a business prosper! BINGO! Companies that put employees first and build prosperity within their own organization first are the most successful. So the next big question would be how do you make employees happy, loyal and productive so they stay long term and help the business prosper? Well it’s actually quite simple and it starts with turnover so let’s take a closer look at the issue.

I have heard many an HR Manager say that they are having “problems” with high turnover. Well here is a little news flash for anyone that thinks turnover is a “problem”. It’s not! And the bad news is that it is much worse than that. Turnover is just a symptom of all the other big problems that your company has. The 3 main factors that contribute to turnover are:

Low employee morale. Many times a morale issue stems from a lack of good company culture. Culture starts from the top and it needs to be consistently communicated and lived by all levels of management. That brings me to communication. Effective communication at all levels has a huge impact on the morale of your employees. Mid and line level staff members really struggle when it comes to communicating and we all know how quickly conflict can arise. Don’t ignore the conflicts or brush them off as petty. Help your staff solve their issues even if it makes you feel like you are playing Mom and Dad. Heading these he said she said disasters off before they escalate will save a lot of grief for everyone.

Lack of career advancement opportunities. While keeping an open line of communication with your employees, find out their career goals and help develop a plan to achieve them. But keep in mind, if you know their goals are not achievable, be honest and upfront, don’t give them false hope. Having the right people in the right positions is critical and you can’t just promote someone to help them achieve a goal. Not only are you setting the company up for failure, but your employee as well.

Employee/Manager relationships. The key to any good relationship is the lost art of listening. Listening is more than just being present in the moment. It’s hearing what is being said, processing it, relaying your feedback and then following through on whatever decisions or actions come of it.

Remember, happy and engaged employees leading prosperous lives will work like crazy to make sure your customers and our community experience the exact same thing!

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