More than any other factor, people make the most significant difference in whether a business grows or fails. If you want to grow your business, treat your employees like gold.
A Gym's Downfall
I know a gym owner who was passionate about his gym, but it collapsed. He was a great guy, but a competitor came into town, stole his best employees, and along with them, his best customers.
While he was always friendly with customers, in conversations with employees, I found out that he had barely been paying minimum wage, had not been timely with payroll, and was very critical.
He lost his business because he hadn't taken care of his most valuable assets, his people.
A New Gym Blossoms
Across town, the new gym suddenly took off. They had hired the best people they could find, paid them well, and customers were flocking in.
It may seem counterintuitive to think that you can increase your profits by paying people better, but it works if you've priced your products and services correctly.
When starting up a company, it is common to pay someone more than you make as an owner. That's because you want them to stick around and build your business with you, and highly skilled employees won't do that if they are only making a few bucks a week.
Rewarding People Doesn't Always Mean Monetary Compensation
Beyond merely paying people well and like clockwork, the new gym owner also rewarded her people when they did a good job. While she wasn't afraid to provide constructive feedback and didn't let employees walk all over her, the owner handed out compliments like candy.
Like Blanchard described in the book “Whale Done! The Power of Positive Relationships,” the owner regularly caught people doing the right things and reinforced those actions.
“It's great to see you this morning! I love how you're always here early ready to go with a smile on your face!”
“Sandy's mom wanted me to let you know how much Sandy loves working with you! She said that you keep it fun, and she likes that you are always showing the little things she can do to improve. Keep up the great work!”
“Great job with that class, I love how you are constantly giving them feedback. It's the little things that add up to big changes over time.”
She also made sure that everyone had what they needed to do their job and provided contests that rewarded people when they increased business, like a small bonus or gift card for each new client they signed.
You don't have to pay your employees a million dollars a year for them to be happy, just treat them like human beings and take care of them. A kind word goes a long way.
Treat Each Other Like Gold And Both of You Win
Owners, take care of your employees, and they'll take care of you. If you're an employee, make the business a lot of money, keep your customers and coworkers happy, always show up with a smile, and the right employers will take care of you.