Know Thy Employee

Many companies invest resources heavily into getting to know their customers.

With numerous surveys, promotions and competitions which capture data and information on the external customer, it isn’t very difficult to determine or at least track the behaviour of this type of customer. However, it is also vital that every business owner or manager have a sound understanding of who works within the organisation; and how such personalities can affect the workings – positively or negatively – of a company. At the end of the day, these are the people who spend the majority of their time within the walls of your business entity.

What are the expectations of your employees? Do you care enough to know?

One of my clients in the past claimed that he didn’t have to bother about what his employees thought, because – as he put it – he was too busy to consume his time with the thoughts or “fantasies” – as he put it – of his staff. Many business owners may be shrewd at their craft, highly talented or skilled when it comes to the core of their industry, but have poor people skills. Then, when there is a consistent churn or exit of top employees, they scratch their heads in bewilderment.  Almost every piece of research done on the topic of employee satisfaction or engagement will reflect that employees who feel ignored do not perform as well as the ones who feel valued within an organisation. But then there are other members of your team who may not even bother about what management thinks; and will give their best, no matter what. It is important that you are able to discern the difference.

Let’s take the examples of John and Billy.

John completes his assignments in quick-time, is highly likeable and very efficient. He represents the company at seminars and is an extrovert, so has no challenge when it comes to speaking on behalf of the entity. Billy is a classic introvert. He comes from an area where people ridicule him, since he’s found a good job and the majority of the people on his street spend their time ‘on the block’ and display constant envy and bitterness towards him. Billy is more academically gifted than John, but their boss always seems to send John to overseas seminars and praise John, even though Billy and John deliver the same quality of work.

Perhaps there are some Billy’s in your organisation, looking for guidance and hoping that they get a chance to be just like you…or even better. A good leader is aware of insecurities and challenges when it comes to his people; and can assist them in reaching their full potential when it comes to organisational efficiency; or even mentor them so that they are able to blossom as stellar contributors to society.

Lots of love & good vibes, Veoma Ali

Veoma Ali is an Advertising Executive, with a Ph.D in Communications and a Masters in Business Administration.