PSG Data Services’ Founder, Paul Gibbs, is back to give his insight on the importance of personal relations.
Albeit an old analogy, people deal with people. The relationship between the employer and employee could almost be described as a marriage, with there being the highs and the lows, sometimes leading all the way to the divorce.
In my 36 years in the motor factor industry, I have been on both sides of the relationship. I must stress that my experiences are unique to me and that they may not necessarily correspond to your own.
I have been in the industry all of my working life; I started as a spotty 18 year old, job sharing as a delivery rider on a Yamaha YB100.
In those days, employment was not so complicated. I found that it was simply a matter of walking into the shop, asking if there were any jobs and being told to be there at 8:30am the following Monday.
After completing your week’s work, you would receive a brown wage envelope containing cash. There was no induction, no health and safety talk, and no Auto Enrolment. In fact, even an interview seemed optional.
Working relationships mirror those in every day life; you can have good ones and bad ones, and I’m sure that most people have experienced a bad relationship in their working life. Personally, I have been lucky, as I have experienced good relationships throughout the majority of my working life, although there have definitely been a few wobbles on the way.
As an employee, you want to put in a solid day’s work and be appreciated for your efforts. An overlooked employee can quickly get demotivated. Work demands have ramped up over the years, with employers expecting more for their money, including extended unpaid working hours and higher productivity.
It’s not always the employer’s fault though, as there are employees that will try to get by with the bare minimum of effort, and will try and push all of those buttons to get the desired effect out of the employer. Quite often, it is these employees that rewrite the rules that everyone else will have to abide by.
As is the case in every day life, you have the good, the bad and the unreasonable, but this can work both ways.
As an employer, being in charge of employment will not be your only duty during the working day. Anyone who has had this role will know that a large part of the day will be involved with:
- Disciplinary issues
- Staff rotas
- Personal issues
- Health and safety
And this is just a small proportion of the work that goes on behind the scenes to make a business run effectively and efficiently when it comes to staffing.
Being one of the bosses is a balancing act of having the respect of the staff but being able to communicate with everyone at every level, be it for work or personally.
Over the years, I have been the listening ear of many a personal issue, and I feel very humbled that people have felt that they could come to me to share their problems.
But, as in life, there will always be those that take up more of your time and will always be high maintenance. It is very easy to overlook hard working employees when your time is being taken up elsewhere.
You must be seen to treat everyone fairly and equally, as your business would not be there if it was not for your staff. You must include them in any areas that they are involved in, and listen to their ideas and input. How many times has a decision been made from higher management that, quite frankly, has not worked? If some of these ideas had been put to the guys at the sharp end, quite often their input would turn it into a workable solution. We always used to have a brainstorming session with the guys in the sales office before any sales or marketing decisions were made.
Your staff is the most important commodity in the business and need to be treated as such. If your turnover of staff is high, you should consider why this is the case. Is it how much you pay? Is it your middle management? Is it the working conditions? Or is it just you?
The relationship between the boss and the staff has and always will be a tightrope walk with a huge abyss on either side. It takes effort from both parties to make it work.
Don’t forget, as the saying goes, you can’t do enough for a good boss!