6 Rules for Employers

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Bestselling Author, Global Business Celebrity & Sometime Cowboy

Google “quotes about employees” and you’ll find hundreds of smart, pithy lines from corporate giants like Howard and Schultz, Steve Jobs, Donald Trump…I have heard these and other leaders of the biggest and highest profile companies in the world unified in their belief in a productive, passionate, and positive workforce.  These leaders did not become rich and heave their companies listed among the best to work for by hiring lousy workers or failing to motivate the good ones.

I neither disagree nor claim to say it any better than these people, so I won’t.  Nor do I want to bore you with “tips for dealing with employees” that fill countless bookshelves and websites.

I will, however, claim to speak for and quickly deal with the things that really fog the mirror when your business is not anywhere near the Fortune 500, 5000, or even 50,000 – the rules you must follow as a smaller business as you grow and hire people.

Ask employees. Ask them questions like, How are we doing?  What can we do better?  What can I do better?  What’s the one thing we can give our customers?  Then actually care about, listen to, and act on their answers.  If you can do this, you are going to improve as a business and a leader.  You’re going to turn your employees into your customers’ associated.  They will start working to improve your bottom line.

Involve everyone and make it a priority. In all my businesses, all my employees (from the front desk to the corner office) are informed about and involved in every aspect of the business.  I believe in complete transparency.  Involve employees in decisions.  Bring them to meetings and help them make the right contact.  Coach them as they prepare for meetings or sales calls to ensure they’re successful.

Chart Progress. As part of their involvement in the business, have your managers or employees work with you to set clear goals and follow budgets.  Then, work together to achieve them.  I try to set up clear ground rules like FAST (focus, accountability, simplicity, and trust) or SOAR (superior operations, one company, align resources, replicate success) for all my employees.

Reward good behavior, confront bad. Enough said.  When you confront any bad behavior that warrants a reprimand, record what the employee did and you said.  Write it on a $20 bill and stick it in the employee’s file.  It will be the best money you ever spent.

Remember: Mood Is Everything. The mood of your employees reflects the mood of your company.  Nothing gets in the way of delivering your promises like bad attitudes. A business is a living, breathing thing made up of relationships, and like any relationship, if the people are disconnected and negative, your business will be too.  Be fair, be diplomatic, but make sure those standards are enforced.  Creating a positive attitude doesn’t mean you can’t be aggressive in pursuing those standards – it depends on it.

Fire People. Get rid of the people who suck up your time without delivering equally dramatic results.  Get rid of every person who believes his or her rules are more important than yours.  Get rid of the analog people who cling to the same-old ways and dated systems so you can bring in new people who see new ways for the digital age.  And get rid of the part of you that will always bring you down.



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