Communication and employee relations – Why are you coming to work?

It is very common to see how companies pretend to progress, reach for higher performance and seek to achieve better than in previous years, forgetting that business development and “increase of added value for shareholders” are only attainable if everybody is going in the same direction. However, is this true in your company?

Tomorrow morning, when you reach your office, ask your employees this simple question*:

“Why are you coming to work?”

You will find a great variety of answers, mainly led by:

  • Because I have a job and I am being paid.
  • Because I have to end XYZ reports and do whatever paperwork for another department.
  • Because I have to manage my team and ensure they work and provide me with the information for my VP.

How many people do you think will answer “because the company has a target of growing by X% this year and we are expecting to open a number of branches and/or add new services by the end of next year”?. I don’t think that, normally, employees are aware of the so called “big picture” or strategic vision of “why they have to work” and why the company exists. Let’s not forget that a company, at the end, is an entity where the sum of all the inputs must have, as a result, an increased output value (1 plus 1 makes 3). Not progressing and obtaining financial results will mean the end of the entity as shareholders and investors will find a better place where to put their money.

This brings a number of questions for management: Do you communicate enough? Do your employees know why they are working? Normally the answer is “no”. And it is you, as manager and leader, who has to lead the path for the employees to follow so they can have, at least, a vague idea of why they have to work for your company.

However, this is just part of the equation. There is also another important reason why people should be coming to work; and I’d also say it is THE most important reason for someone to work:

“I come to work because I like it”

I am not going to say that this can happen always everywhere but normally there is a possibility to work in a different way, making your work space a comfortable place to work in. Picture this for a moment: Your employees are offered another job with a similar package (salary, benefits, opportunities…etc.), how many would stay with you? Some would even leave if they were to lose with the change. There is always something to remember: Happy employees ALWAYS make your company progress. You will attain whatever (realistic) results are set in the business plan.

We spend most of our lives away from our families at work so making it a somehow enjoyable place for your employees should also be part of your overall plan. Motivate them, encourage them and make them participants of your business master plan. They will not only work because they have a job and bills to pay at the end of the month: they will feel they are part of something and embrace your plan as theirs.

If your employees only come to work because they are paid or, worst case scenario, they fear you, you’d better start revising what you are doing because your company will not be around for long.

*(if you wish to survey your employees anonymously use tools like surveymonkey, formstack, etc)


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