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A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & Fulfilled

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Managing Your People|A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & FulfilledSomething that should be clear when you are looking after any business is just how important the employees are. Without them there, there is nothing that could be done in the company, and you would soon find that it all falls apart. And yet, so many employers fail to really take stock in this way or to fully appreciate the power and importance of their staff, and this can lead to a business which is not moving in the right direction – or, just as bad, not moving in any direction at all.

There are three basic things that you need to be aware of and focus on in order to keep your employees in tact as a force in your business. Firstly, you need to make sure that they are happy to work there, with all that it entails. Secondly, you must ensure that their workplace is safe and that they are safe on the job. Lastly, you should help them in whatever way you can to keep them fulfilled and fully enjoy their work in the deepest sense, day after day. In this article, we will look at each of these in turn, and discuss what you might need to do to ensure that you are making the most of them. As long as you follow this advice, there is no doubt that you will end up with staff who are happy, safe and fulfilled – and who are therefore much more valuable to you, in turn.

Happy

Keeping your employees happy might seem like something that is out of your control. After all, they are ultimately responsible for their own happiness, and you might not even feel that it is something you need to concern yourself with. However, the truth is that you do have something of a responsibility in this area, and you should at the very least ensure that you are not doing anything to decrease their overall happiness or make their efforts to be happy any harder for them. This is something you can take on as a manager, and it will make you one of the better managers and leaders out there, so it’s worth thinking about. What exactly can you do, however, to ensure that you are actually going to help keep your employees happy along the way while they work for you?

First of all, you should aim to treat them like people as best as you can. It can often happen in offices in particular that staff get slightly and subtly downtrodden, until eventually the relationship between people is much worse than it should really be. You should aim to avoid this particular catastrophe at all costs, and the way to do that is to ensure that you are treating your employees as the people that they are, day after day, without fail. Saying hello, having polite informal conversations, and just generally respecting the human being that they are are all important towards ensuring that your employees can feel respected in the workplace, and that they can continue to feel like a real person, and not just another cog in the machine. Of course, there will be times of stress when everyone has to buckle down and be a little more like a machine, but generally you can always find time for this kind of genuine human interaction – and if you can’t find time for it ever, something is wrong somewhere.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Managing Your People|A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & FulfilledBut being happy goes beyond that, and you also need to make sure that you are providing some of the basic facilities that everyone needs at work. There are many of these which are legally necessary, of course, such as having bathrooms and break rooms. But as ever, you should make sure that you are going above and beyond these things, so that you know that you are actually providing everything that you can be in order to have happy employees. The break room should be free of anything which is likely to remind them of work – instead, it should be a safe separate place, and you should also allow your employees to go elsewhere for their breaks, of course, as it is their own time. This stuff is basic, but you also need to make sure that you are offering the right amount of break time, something which a lot of employers do get wrong from time to time.

All in all, keeping your employees happy means that you need to find a way to ensure that they are going to get what they deserve in their work and in the workplace. If you are keeping anything from them, they will inevitably end up feeling not happy, but a little disjointed instead. This is essential, so be sure not to overlook it.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Managing Your People|A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & FulfilledSafe

All employers know that safety is one of those legal and moral responsibilities which you need to take care of. You will need to take this very seriously, too, as it is the kind of thing that can quickly land you in some deep personal and professional trouble if you get it wrong. But that is not the main reason to be concerned about safety in the workplace. The main reason, of course, is that it is important for your staff, and that is what you need to focus on first and foremost. Whenever you are thinking about the safety in your business, you need to make sure that you are doing whatever is right by your employees firstly – as long as you do that, you should end up with the kind of safety that is actually going to work in the way it needs to. So what should be your primary concerns when it comes to keeping people safe at work?

First up, make sure that the office itself is safe. There are as lot of things you need to do here. You might want to have security installed, including a security team and cameras if necessary, to ensure that no intruders can get in. You will also need to have structural analysis of the building done every six months or so to make sure that there is nothing structurally wrong with it which could end up causing problems for anyone later on. Again, in order to ensure that the place can be kept safe, you will need to make sure that you are focused on having the essential in place in case of an emergency. That means knowing how many fire extinguishers, where they should be put, smoke alarms and the same, and ensuring that you have carried out a fire risk assessment every six months, with a clear plan for evacuation on the wall in every major area of the company.

Once the office is as safe as you can possibly hope for, you will need to think about keeping people personally safe. You need to have one person in a team who is first aid trained, and that should include someone who has been trained in CPR through the AHA instructor network. There should also be a fire safety marshal who can direct people out when there are drills or, of course, real fires. In order to really keep people safe, you will also need to think about training them regularly in their own safety concerns and responsibilities. The more you do that, the more likely it is that they will continue to be safe on the whole.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Managing Your People|A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & FulfilledAs you can see, there is a lot involved to keeping people safe, but it is necessary to do so if you want to make sure that they are truly enjoying their work. Alone, however, happiness and safety are not enough. You also need to make sure that your people are fulfilled. And this is something that is much harder than the last two put together.

Fulfilled

What does it mean to be actively fulfilled in a job? Probably, this has slightly different meanings for everyone, but you need to make sure that you are at least doing something in order to help your employees get there, whatever it might mean for them. Actually, there are a few factors which we might say are going to be especially common amongst employees, and as long as you are paying respect to these things you should find that you have a workplace full of basically fulfilled people. So what should you be trying to do to make that happen?

Generally, your staff will be fulfilled if you make a point of making it clear to them how needed they are, what their place is in the grand scheme of the business, and why it matters so much. You should aim to remind them of their importance, as well as giving them the right level of responsibility for it, and more and more as you trust them more. This alone is most of the work of making the job fulfilling for them, but you should also make sure that you speak with them regularly, and do whatever you can to make their work as fulfilling as possible, in whatever way they feel is necessary for them as an individual.

Who is the real decision maker? Find out or lose the sale.

The prospect tells you, “I only need one more approval and the order is yours.”

For joy, for joy – the order is mine! – Eh, eh, eh – don’t celebrate too soon. The one last person needed to approve, is the real decision maker. The boss. The guy you were supposed to be talking to in the first place. The one person who can say “no,” and there’s no possibility of reversing it. Rut-row.

Throw some water on yourself, pal. This sale hangs by a thread – and what are you doing about it? Going home and bragging “it’s in the bag,” or saying over and over – “I hope I get it, I hope I get it?” Neither will work.

Here’s what to do: The words “I only need one more approval and the order is yours” must trigger your response to the prospect – “Great, when do we all meet?”

Get the prospect to agree to let you attend the final decision meeting.

If you’re not present when the last decision is made – odds are you will lose the final battle of the sales war without being able to fire one bullet.

Try this: (In a non-salesy, friendly way), say to the prospect, “I’m an expert at what I do, and, Mr. Jones, you’re an expert at what you do. Surely as you discuss our service, questions about productivity and profitability will arise. I’m sure you agree that the right information needs to be presented so that the most intelligent decision can be made, true? (get commitment)

And questions might arise about our service. I’d like to be there to answer questions about my expertise so you can make a decision that’s in the best interest of your business.” (If this fails, try adding on the phrase – “Pleeeeaaase, I’ll be your best friend.”)

If the prospect (customer) agrees to the meeting, he or she considers you a resource, a partner. They trust you. If they don’t agree to let you in the meeting – they just consider you a salesperson.

When others need to ‘final approve’ the deal, besides learning to know the buying process better, you must take these five action steps or the sale is in jeopardy…
1. Get the prospect’s personal approval. “Mr. Prospect, if it was just you, and you didn’t need to confer with anyone else, would you buy?” (The prospect will almost always say yes). Then ask, “Does this mean you’ll recommend our service to the others?” Get the prospect to endorse you and your service to the others, but don’t let him (or anyone) make your pitch for you.
2. Get on the prospect’s team. Begin to talk in terms of ‘we,’ ‘us,’ and ‘the team.’ By getting on the prospect’s team, you can get the prospect on your side of the sale.
3. Arrange a meeting with all decider’s. Do it any (ethical) way you have to.
4. Know the prime decider in advance. “Tell me a little bit about the others.” (Write down every characteristic). Try to get the personality traits of the other deciders.
5. Make your entire presentation again. You only have to do this if you want to make the sale. Otherwise just leave it to the prospect. He thinks he can handle it on his own, and will try his best to convince you of that.

If you think you can get around these five steps, think again. (It’s obvious you’re looking for shortcuts or you would have known the buying process in the first place.)

If you make the mistake of letting your prospect become a salesperson on your behalf (goes to the boss or group instead of you), you will lose. Most every time.

Here’s 2.5 ounces of prevention (for next time):
1. Qualify the decision maker as the ‘only’ by asking a seemingly innocent question at the beginning of your presentation – “Is there anyone else you work with (confer with, bounce things off of) on decisions (situations) like this?” The object is to find out if anyone else is involved in the decision BEFORE you make your presentation.
2. Prevent the situation from occurring by saying in your initial presentation: “If you’re interested in our ——-, when we’re finished, would it be possible to meet the CEO and chat about it?”
2.5 The most powerful qualifying question you can ask is (AND IT MUST BE ASKED EXACTLY THIS WAY): “Bill, how will this decision be made?” Bill will give you an answer. AND YOU FOLLOW UP WITH THE QUESTION: “Then what?” And Bill will begin to give you the saga about how the decision is really made. You ask “then what?” four or five times and PRESTO!, you’ll have the name of the real decision maker.

The number of sales you make will be in direct proportion to the number of actual decision-makers you sit in front of. The problem with most salespeople (not you of course) is that they are sitting in front of someone who has to ask their mommy or daddy if they can buy it or not.

Real salespeople sit in front of real decision-makers. How real are you?


About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

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About the Author

Karen K. Juliano is StrategyDriven‘s Editor-in-Chief and Director of Communications and Marketing. Prior to joining the StrategyDriven team, she helped produce weekly programming for a Public Access Television station and served as a production assistant in the public affairs office at United States Naval Base, Philadelphia. To read Karen’s complete biography, click here.