When there is higher pay for an employee the company has higher expectations - right? And that makes sense in that there is more responsibility. However employees don't automatically perform at higher levels if wages are higher and even if they do, it will not last for long. Commitment, dedication, employee engagement, initiative, and discretionary effort do not come from an individual for pay. These are the aspects of an employee that cannot be bought. No matter how high the salary, if you treat employees poorly they will begin to no longer care. This happens usually over time and from what I have seen is a response (reaction) to not feeling cared about.
Here are some reasons employees will stop caring:
1. Freedom is lacking. Striving for excellence and Best Practices are definitely important, but not every task deserves a micro-managed approach. Think how you feel it seems like you are always being watched. Autonomy feels good. Give them the chance to think of ways to do the job better. Coach them to become better, thinking, and solving on their own.
2. Don't know the goals. Employees want goals with something to go after. Targets allow the employee to know what is being done, why it is being done, and an employee can track progress. Without a goal to shoot for, it would feel like there was no movement. If there seems to be no sense of direction it will begin to feel the same probably with thoughts of what's the point.
3. What is the mission? We all like to feel a part of something bigger. Striving to hear words like "best" or "largest" or "fastest" or "highest quality" provides a sense of purpose. Let employees know what you want the business to achieve; how many employees even know the mission statement of the company? How do the employees in each department fit into the company's vision? Let them know.
4. Standards Changing. Expectation should be clearly defined. The boundaries of a job need to be set so all members of the team understand. However every job should include decision-making latitude. Standards change along the way sometimes and these should get communicated, stick with them, but allow people to catch up. Explain why this particular situation is different and why the change was made. Remember you are changing the employee's habits.
5. Not getting suggestions and ideas. Deny me the opportunity to make suggestions, or shoot my suggestions down without consideration, and an employee feels the manager doesn't care and the employee's ideas don't matter. Make it easy for employees to present ideas and if an idea can't be done take the time to explain why. Many great ideas have come from the people that do the job on the frontlines.
6. Feeling like Just a Body. The company provides the paycheck, but employees work for people. No one wants to feel like they are just filling a space. I heard it said at place, "Just get me a body." People want to be treated as people. A kind word, a short discussion about family, a brief check-in to see if they need anything... person-to-person moments are much more important than meetings or formal evaluations.
7. No accountability. Most employees can deal with a boss who has high expectations and this is good thing. It shows the manager wants the employee to do well and achieve much. While it's okay -- in fact necessary -- to treat employees differently, all employees must be treated fairly. Similar achievements should result in similar but not always the same praise and rewards. Similar offenses should result in similar but not always the same disciplinary actions. Each situation is at least a little different.
This is all about managers being involved, treating people like people, and coaching their teams to greatness.
This article was written by Liz Cosline. To get more great advice from Women's Toolbox Media Diva Liz Cosline, visit her website at: http://songofoneunexpectedlife.com