As with all catalysts, the manager's function is to speed up the reaction between two substances, thus creating the desired end product. Specifically, the manager creates performance in each employee by speeding up the reaction between the employee's talent and the company's goals, and between the employee's talent and the customer's needs.
Even your most talented employees have room for growth in some area, and you're doing your employee a disservice if the sum of your review is: 'You're great!' No matter how talented the employee, think of ways he could grow towards the position he might want to hold two, five, or 10 years down the line.
I gave a talk on gender stuff at Facebook one morning and a man didn't come. It was optional; he didn't have to come. But he sent a note saying, "I missed your meeting because I drove my kids to school so my wife could do something else. Thank you for making that possible." I think that employee is a loyal employee for Facebook and I think more companies should want that kind of loyalty.
The housewife is an unpaid worker in her husband's house in return for the security of being a permanent employee: hers is the reductio ad absurdum of the employee who accepts a lower wage in return for permanence of his employment. But the lowest paid employees can be and are laid off, and so are wives. They have no savings, no skills which they can bargain with elsewhere, and they must bear the stigma of having been sacked.
While our managers debated what steps to take to address the sales and cash-flow crisis, I began to lead week-long employee seminars in what we called Philosophies. We'd take a busload at a time to places like Yosemite or the Marin Headlands above San Francisco, camp out, and gather under the trees to talk. The goal was to teach every employee in the company our business and environmental ethics and values.
Too often we measure everything and understand nothing. The three most important things you need to measure in a business are customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and cash flow. If you're growing customer satisfaction, your global market share is sure to grow, too. Employee satisfaction gets you productivity, quality, pride, and creativity. And cash flow is the pulse""the key vital sign of a company.
Profits are related to customer retention. Customer retention is related to employee retention. Employee retention may or may not be related to benefits, but benefits could be part of the package that causes people to stay and -- by the way -- engage in discretionary effort. .. If you go into any organization that's customer-facing, you can tell in five minutes when the employees are feeling abused. They retaliate on the customers.
One of the proven ways of getting workers more involved with their jobs is by dovetailing employee profit-sharing and stock ownership plans with greater responsibility sharing... Trade unions in this country should... consider these arrangements much more carefully than they have up to now... Expanded employee profit participation and stock ownership would provide workers with a greater measure of economic and social independence, thus stimulating increased productivity.
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