They are your BEST and BRIGHTEST right? They are the employees you feel are your fingers on the pulse of your industry, the ones you trust more than some family members. You know the ones. Your company’s ride-or-dies. The ones you feel more support from than anyone, because they KNOW what you’re going through every day.
They know the stresses your company places on you as an entrepreneur, and they are right there with unicorns of solutions coming out of their asses right when you need them to save the day. They make decisions as though they owned the company whenever you’re there or out of town.
They get angry about ANYONE who doesn’t love your company the way you do. They are your EVERYTHING, and you want to treat them like solid gold. So they’d NEVER keep anything from you, right? WRONG. The following are three things your finest team members just won’t tell you.
1. They need you.
They NEED you to care openly about them. They need you to need their help. They need to be recognized as your hero. They need you to WANT to know about their life outside of work. They need you to want to help them with their OWN dreams. They need your support and encouragement through their OWN struggles, and they need to hear you tell them how you REALLY feel, if you know you couldn’t do it without them.
2. They want their own personal carrot.
Everyone in the company gets a bonus, every certain amount of accomplishments, or over a certain period of time, but they need to feel special, and it actually might be a lot less expensive! I had an employee go through a beginning-of-life crisis at the age of 23. He truly needed to find himself, and all he wanted was to travel the world. Once I finally got this out of him, I asked why he was hesitant to tell me. He was concerned I’d feel like he wasn’t being loyal.
He needed PROOF this wasn’t the case. I told him to get in the car, and we went to the FedEx store to get his passport ordered. I helped him schedule the trip through Europe, and all I had to do was give him the time off, UNPAID! He thought this was the greatest thing, and the most love anyone has EVER shown him. I told him to really think about the type of work that would fill his soul, and I would do EVERYTHING to create that position within my company.
He came back, having thought about the intersection between his happiness and the growth of the company, and KNEW it was sales. I told him to try it out for a month, and I coached him on sales. It meant so much to him personally, and he was able to serve the company in ways we all could never have expected.
3. They won’t tell you someone in the company is toxic.
If you have these employees, you know what I’m talking about. They work to the point where you have to drag them out of the office. They need you to ask them, consistently, what support looks like for them. Asking them how they’re doing, or if they’re doing ok is a death wish. The answer will always be “fine,” or “yes,” or “no worries.”
You’ll walk away thinking everything is fine. This definitely is true when someone ELSE in the company is toxic, or being outwardly unsupportive of them. The funny thing is they don’t even care what the toxic person thinks of them. They care more about you feeling hurt about hiring the toxic person in the first place. They really believe you must KNOW this person treats them poorly, and that you are just fine with it.
All the while, you are clueless, and would NEVER allow your best employees to be abused by a toxic team member. It will be like pulling teeth, but you MUST ask specific questions about how they feel about the team in general and what they would do if you were not around and needed them to make the company’s best decisions.
Remember, these employees are your company’s life-blood, and without them, you know, the culture just wouldn’t be the same. Make them feel like an owner, depend on them, and let them know they are the HEROES of the company, and you’ll never have to look farther.
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Yours in love and support,
P.S. Hope to see you in the comments. Let’s rally together during this time and stay connected to stay on business growth journey. The world deserves the BEST of you.