Focus On Your Employees, Not Your Bottom Line
Supervisors with ‘bottom-line mentality’ who are driven by profits to the exclusion of caring about other outcomes, like employee well-being, environment or ethics, could be hurting their bottom lines by losing the respect of their employees, who counter by withholding performance, according to a new study from Baylor University.
Fortunately, there are CEOs who do not buy into this mentality and who actually go the extra mile themselves to demonstrate to their employees that there are more important agendas to push rather than just making money. Expressing gratitude and showing compassion does not cost a dime, and in fact, can yield outstanding dividends in terms of job performance.
Emotional Connections Drive Company Culture
Levi King, CEO of Nav, a credit and financial education company for small businesses, is such a leader. In fact, King ensures his employees do not pay a personal ‘tax’ at the door by providing a work environment that is inclusive, motivating, and fosters team work.
“We believe that if your leadership is authentic, you don’t have to be perfect,” King said. “We want to drive team member experience with emotional connections; connection to their work, people around them, the leadership, the company’s mission and vision, and the customer.”
At Nav, they provide lunch every day of the week (except for Friday) to their 130 employees in an effort to get employees to sit with someone new and foster new emotional connections. King believes that you can only extract the best from people by providing a place to have those kinds of connections at work. Business is personal, and the work is done by people.
“Money comes as a consequence of doing what is right,” King says. “Once a quarter we give away a grant to a small business that applies and tells us why they need the money, it is a pretty emotional thing, in a cool way.
We have a theme in the office that ‘every role matters.’ Our employees don’t need to aspire to have an office to prove that they have made it, we don’t have our own offices here.”
And the company offers unlimited PTO. After a time, King began to notice that some employees never took any PTO, so he now has implemented a mandatory two-week off rule.
Saving Money on Overhead is Passed on to Employees
Paul and Casey Balding, Co-owners of Ferreus Industries, a sheet metal fabrication business, have found ways to cut business costs, whether it be through processes or materials, and then pass those savings onto their 20 employees in various different ways, with a focus on Healthy Living.
“We noticed that a lot of our employees would work through lunch, we didn’t know if they had had breakfast or not,” says Casey, “So now we give them stuff to make sandwiches, breakfast bowls, granola bars, water, and energy drinks. We have noticed that a lot of our employees are taking advantage of it, it helps keep them rolling throughout the day.”
Providing a free gym pass for employees is another way Ferreus gives back to their employees. Both Paul and Casey are committed to living a healthy lifestyle and work out on a regular basis. They know from experience the benefits of doing so and want their employees to also see those benefits, which is turn will benefit the company in employees who have more energy, stamina, and better health overall.
“In 2020, we will also be offering retirement plans to our employees,” Casey said. “Often in manufacturing, you don’t see many people making it a career, more like, ‘just passing through until I find what I really want to do.’ We offer our employees opportunity for growth if they are willing to learn. We may start someone out that has no experience, fresh out of high school and we will train them up to a master level of sheet metal fabrication so that they can make a career out this.”
Since implementing these new programs for employees, the high turnover rate, which is common in the industry, has decreased tremendously. In addition, a peer driven employee of the month program has generated a prideful company culture that motivates employees to give even more.