I need to find something to keep me busy.
I haven't checked Facebook in a few hours.
When am I being paid next?
The day is going really slow.
Same Old. Same Old. What's the point?
I am busy but I'm bored.
I like what I do but I don't love it.
I have this idea...
I want to make a difference.
I work hard but I am not sure where I'm going here.
The former is an employee who is just marking time until the next break or when the boss will be on vacation. She'll never share these thoughts nor does she care.
The latter is a good employee who needs someone that will help her feel appreciated and valued. She wants to add meaning to her life but also cares deeply about where she works. Do you know who she is? Will she feel comfortable talking about what's on her mind?
Great employees are not hired - their potential and future impact is hidden and frequently overlooked. We get busy chasing new revenue sources and ways to increase profit while ignoring our most valuable assets.
If you facilitate an open dialogue, and if you are brave enough to listen without prejudice, you will experience the power of the human mind and spirit. Employees want the ability to prove themselves not to be micromanaged or told what to do. They want to take risks, make decisions and know that it is okay to screw up.
Employees look for meaning and purpose then their spirit soars. Oh yes, so will your profits.
One of the biggest jokes I have encountered in my career was the "I have an open-door policy". Right. Why is it closed so much during the day? Why don't you come out once in a while? Jargon, empty words. Great leaders don't leave the door open to cover their ass. Great leaders are rarely in their office.
Want to grow your business? Go talk to someone.
Start with the person everyone takes for granted: the janitor, maintenance person, production worker or receptionist. Invite them in, or better yet, sit next to them. Humility is the true mark of leaders.
Genuinely start with: "How's the family?". The rest will turn out to be the most productive and rewarding time you have spent in years. Funny thing, you'll find yourself doing it over and over again.
Psssst. Guess what? CEOs, VPs and managers need meaning and purpose too you know. They're just too busy to realize it but when they do - you got it, everything gets better including profits.