How to treat staff
Could they be better off if we treated them like machines?
I think we can all agree that in general the golden rule of treat others how you wish to be treated applies. But corporate America has fallen so far that our advice is:
Treat staff like machines you respect.
Odd advice we know. Yet if your car begins to sputter you don't yell at it and call it lazy, you realize that it's work depends on it having the ability and resources to do it's job. In this case you get it more gas. If that doesn't work you hire a professional to help work out it's kinks (what training was missed or never existed).
If an employee seems overwhelmed, it's our job to follow the crash course in management and first make sure they were given the training, resources and time to do their work. And then make sure that supportive staff exist that have been effectively trained, with proper resources and time to do their work.
There's a Chinese proverb, "If you want something done, give it to a busy person." It simply means that the reason why busy people are busy, is because they have a drive to get things done and are a person you can turn to. But that's not a management strategy. If you find certain employees can't carry their load, you don't just pile more and more and more on your hard workers, you work to help the other machines get better to better carry their load.
Management is far more about common sense than kindness. It's actually messed up to be overly kind with your words to an employee while continuing to neglect the fact that no training materials or videos exist for them, most of the work fall onto their shoulders with no recognition or increase in pay over employees that are asleep at the wheel and a large portions of the staff around them still have no idea how to do basic tasks, requiring them to also now answer painfully basic question while trying to carry inhumane workloads. Being mean to that same employee is so evil, Darth Vader would be appalled, I mean at least he had standards right?
Yet, as described in our crash course in management, the actual way management be kind to their staff is by doing their jobs. Team morale rises on it's own when each team member gets proper training and support to do their work, always with a belief in their potential than punitive in nature.
There's no real reason to come down on employees that mess up. Only training matters. If you feel their personal life is affecting work, as is the case with most folks, send them our page on the combat of wellness.
We all know that if we keep messing up, and just don't make it that we will be let go. There's no reason to add disrespect, anger and punishments into the mix.
And thus we say treat your staff like machines. Don't yell at them if they're not operating how you wish, find out what's going on and give the training, resources and times needed to succeed. If you're not giving them the time they need to do quality work, it's your liability when mistakes occur. If you don't give them the resources they need to do quality efficient work, don't expect a perfect product or for them to be equally efficient as if they were properly outfitted. And if they weren't given actually training on how to do their work, or if training materials don't even exist, then don't come down on them harder for not producing.
So lets stop missing the point and give our employees the support they need. Including protecting them from unruly customers, clients and so on that don't even have an intention to do business with us. There's no reason to have a 'see every customer approach' when the customers that are the least willing to do business are also the most likely to sue us and cause actual harm to our premises, especially in the medical field. Other industries are in a tough spot where their survival does depend heavily on their customer service. Yet still, unruly customers are more likely to ruin the experience for other customers.
In addition to the above, leading with signs of respect and belief in the betterment of those under you, while protecting them from unnecessary burdens, will always yield the best results.
What's ironic is that the above doesn't really take that much work. Yet the business losses we face without them will literally threaten the longevity of our businesses.
We want our staff to take ownership of our companies but also refuse to reward them for completing highly productive days. We want them to become more efficient but refuse to let them leave a little early with a days pay, giving zero incentive for anyone but the hard workers to, well, work hard. Giving staff 'can go home' targets is a great way to increase productivity and profits. It's also the only way to teach a team the meaning of efficiency and effectiveness over time. Otherwise the clock drags on with the sands of time representing a painful sloth monster that slowly consumes our life, until our strong desire to become a part of society and the workforce also breaks.
The final thing I'd recommend managers and leaders do is to sit in a public place and try to feel what others are feeling behind their professional masks. If someone is openly showing signs of depression, pain or misery, realize that their pain is actually 100x worse. Somehow leadership has become so blind to the pain of their staff that "tantrums" and met with condemnation. Overwhelm is met with 'attacks on their character and freedoms due to imperfect signs of their character.' Mistakes are met with condemnation instead of the above checks. Lateness is met with attacks without realizing that lack of the above is actually oppressions that will be affecting their personal life and ability to sleep.
In closing, lets give our staff the training, resources, time and freedoms they need in order to succeed. If a manager is doing everything else, and refuses to do the above after talking to them.
Find another one.