Power to the People

Power to the People

The events in Egypt remind us that in every organization and just about any circumstance or situation - it all comes down to people.

Even online businesses for example put a face to their name - (the most obvious) Mark Zuckerberg = Facebook; Arianna Huffington = Huffington Post (soon Aol); Meg Whitman = eBay; Blake Mycoskie = TOMS Shoes - and the list goes on and on.

But even these Internet titans did not build their empires by themselves. They surrounded themselves with very capable and competent people to help them take their companies to what it is today.

Businesses of all types should cultivate, motivate, value and reward its employees.

Listen and Learn. Not every organization is flat. In fact most have a chain of command. For an organization to prosper it is important for executives at the top to listen to their employees - this is easier said than done. Conversely employees at the foundation of a company should follow the vision of their leaders - they however, need a viable reason to do just that.

What moves you? A wise manager once told me, "Find out what your staff really wants and they will follow your lead." Look beyond the obvious of money, job security and position. What really motivates your employees - Is it making a real contribution to the company's growth? Do they want professional and/or personal development? Do they want to try new things and grow into different areas?

What's your worth? Every person in your organization has an innate need to feel valued or of value. Sometimes you need to dig a little deeper to see it, but it's there. It is in your business interest to create an inclusive working environment in which every person has a say, a vote and opinion. Someone still needs to make the final decision, but if all your people have a say, then they will buy into that final decision.

And the Employee of the Year goes to... You don't need to spend a lot of cash to hand out prizes or trinkets that will be forgotten anyway. Rather make the effort to recognize and reward your employees with little expressions of gratitude that actually can go a long way. When was the last time you took the time to say *Thank You* to your best performers? And don't do it in private, express your appreciation in front of their co-workers. You will find those co-workers doubling their efforts to get that pat on the back from you.

Until death do us part. Loyalty is a dying art. Laying off employees should be the last resort when companies go through tough times. Today's competitive business culture rewards employees to leave when they smell more cash elsewhere. Where has the loyalty gone? By listening to your staff, and valuing their contributions to your organization, and recognizing them for their hard work, you are molding an organization that values it's greatest asset - its people.

Every business at some point or other has experienced tough economic challenges and/or has experienced a crisis of some type. Surprisingly, you may find that it's your employees that will stand by you and help you face any challenge or hardship. You will not be alone.

Thus, the situation in Egypt should be teaching us that what matters most is - the people. Take great care of your people, because they are your bottom-line. Leave us your comments, we would like to hear from you.

Image: lullemon atheletica, "Strategic Sales team playing around", via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution.

Posted by Eli Hernandez on 02/08 at 01:58 PM in

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