When working as an employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer, I often hear entrepreneurs say, “I wish I had people that were as passionate about their job as me.” My questions to them center around whether or not they treat their people like they are owners. If you are an owner reading this don’t get me wrong…I own my own business so I understand how important it is to get value out of your people if you want to survive. What I am getting at is that you can’t pay someone $50,000 a year and expect them to work 65-70 hours a week the way the owner does. The owner is building equity in the business, earning a lot more money and has the flexibility to take off when they want to (even though they probably don’t if you are like me).
As an owner if you want someone to act like an owner, treat them like one. The first thing is that we need to set the bar HIGH. We then need to pay more, give them stock in the organization, ask them for their ideas, expect them to generate solutions, stop complaining, give them some flexibility to take off if need to just as long as they are getting their work done, etc. These are just some of the things that I thought about. You can’t expect your employees to act like owners if you treat them like employees!
I have had several cases with clients that once they adopted this new philosophy of treating employees like owners as much as possible their business took off. People were fired up and things just seemed to start to happen. Their people started to make things happen. Their employees didn’t brag about it but there was a certain pride that was there because they were treated like owners. I believe in C.R.A.P. as you all know. (Caring, respect, Appreciation and Praise) One of the biggest signs of Respect is to treat your employees like owners. It sends the message that they are as special as you. My experience is that people respond to that. If they don’t respond then deal with it and get someone that acts like an owner but is also treated like an owner. If you do that, you will see employee turnover drop.
It is time to change your mind-set as leaders and owners. If you want people to act like owners and to stay with you, treat them like owners. Owners don’t just decide to quit the business one day…employees do!