When an employee’s compensation is being calculated, the owner typically thinks about the wage or salary. More often than not, so does the employee.
“Show me the money,” as Cuba Gooding’s character in the movie Jerry Maguire liked to say, is the focus, as it should be. Both the owner and the employee need to negotiate a fair wage that leave each feeling good.
Next come benefits: Vacation, paid time off, health insurance, vehicle allowance and so on. Again, these are important components of a compensation package.
Get these figured out together and get on board, you might think. But wait a minute: Some other pieces of compensation have not been addressed. What are they?
The topic of employee reviews does come up when someone is being hired. In many cases, that is the last time it gets talked about.
An annual review is part of an employee’s compensation. Yes, it takes time and energy on the part of both the employee and the employee’s manager to perform a review. However, how else is someone supposed to know how their performance is viewed by their employer? ESP? Vulcan mind meld?
With a results-oriented focus by the company an effective employee review can be done in under an hour. Is saving that time worth watching a good employee leave the company because they never got the promised review?
In my work with companies, I often hear employees begging for feedback, both positive and negative.
Why is it not top-of-mind for managers to provide it? Because the press of getting things done and staying on top of all the important and urgent issues gets in the way.
Among the remodeling I found I had to do internally was developing the habit of giving feedback. To help that happen, I put a reminder in my calendar every other day: “Praise Somebody.”It took a while to develop the habit and make it stick.
Interacting with only the appropriate people is the best environment to offer constructive or negative feedback. The employee’s manager and the employee should take a moment to refocus and then address the matter. Saying “How can we make sure this does not happen again?” instead of “Why did you do this?” engages the employee in a forward-thinking mindset.
Feedback of all kinds makes employees want to stay with a company, even if the pay is not as high as they truly want. Personal attention is priceless.
Another thing I hear in my work with employees is that they would like the company owner to visit job sites periodically. The employees like to have the owner see what they are doing.
Maybe the owner brings pizza for lunch and hangs out for a while. Everyone has to eat, so why not do it together once in a while?
One-on-one for coffee, breakfast, lunch, etc. with an employee means a lot to most people. The owner should only be inquiring into the personal life of the employee. “How is the family?” “How was the big vacation?”
By asking questions like this, the owner avoids turning the interaction into a review. The employee can bring up work if they want to, but the owner should let the employee drive the conversation if that happens.
Because the owner has taken the initiative to make this interaction happen, the employee feels special and appreciated. What a nice thing to add to the compensation package!
All I am suggesting does not cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. Primarily, what is required is the owner’s attention.
A company that provides a compensation that includes more than money and benefits will get an exceptional level of loyalty from its employees. That’s a priceless environment to work in.