How companies show they care?

how companies show they care about its employees

Ask any company leader what their most important asset is, and they will answer the same, their employees.  But is that true or just the convenient collective answer?  If it is true, then words are translated into daily actions.  Companies show they care about their employees with actions, not fancy statements or values hanging on the walls.  

The best way to show a company cares about its employees is to build a culture of respect, trust, inclusion, and collaboration.  That is an environment where all members feel valued and trust to share their ideas without fear. Moreover, it is a place where leaders listen and take time to know the person behind the position.  Also, leaders would take time to develop their skills and help them to reach their potential.

Some ways companies show they care

Although nothing beats those things, it will not hurt if companies offer good benefits.  Leaders and companies committed to making their team a priority take the time to put together an attractive benefits package.

We all heard regarding companies that provide food and snacks services for free, video games, ping-pong tables, and more.  Those perks sound nice but are they what their employees want? A different option is to take the time to know what their employees’ value or need to craft a nice set of benefits.

Ways to show you care about their well-being

It is quite common to offer wellness programs as part of the benefits.  Examples of those programs are on-site weight management, high blood pressure or diabetes clinics, and gym subscriptions.  Unfortunately, sometimes those are offered by companies that show no respect for their employees’ health.  Ensure that your company does not foster or accept attitudes and behaviors that create a toxic environment.  Also, promote adequate rest, ask your team to take their time off.

Align perks, culture, and values to create a positive environment that fosters creativity and well-being.  The following examples are ways to show that you care about the person behind the position.

  • Give new parents time to be home
  • Encourage healthy behaviors by providing options for healthy foods.  Revise what kind of snacks you offer in the vending machines.  Do they match your health message?
  • Promote doing exercise with internal tournaments of popular sports like basketball or baseball.
  • Advertise ways to relax during their breaks while encouraging learning and skills development.  For example, create a small library with magazines and books.  The library can be a corner with comfy chairs, adequate lighting, and a bookshelf.
  • Promote using stand-up desks or converters.
  • Create a walking path around the building for your employees to walk during their breaks.  If there is enough space, a small garden would be nice too!

Give back to the community

Another way to make your employees feel appreciated is by showing respect and care for their communities.  Once again, align these programs with your company values.  Above all, align them with your actions.  For instance, do not say your company cares about the environment and then dump toxic waste down the creek.

  • Encourage volunteerism with days off
  • Help them help the community by creating teams to participate in efforts to participate in non-profit activities.
  • Promote and actively participate in recycling efforts.
  • Team-up with local companies and provide discounts for buying solar panels or other types of sustainable energy.

When companies show they care, great things happen

Caring for your employees is a way to show respect.  Employee appreciation is the right thing to do.  Also, it is good for the business.  Employees that feel appreciated by their leaders are more engaged and productive.  When they perceive that they can grow professionally and build meaningful relationships, their job satisfaction will be higher.  Therefore, they will be willing to contribute to the well-being of the company.

Show they matter, give the gift of giving.

Although it should happen all the time, during the holidays, it is more common. We show the people we love that they matter. But this Christmas season is like no other. Many things that we take for granted our entire lives are now challenging, scarce, or even non-existent. One of them is traveling to see our family. Despite the health situation, you can still travel following the appropriate precautions. Some people will choose not to travel to avoid health complications to their loved ones. But this does not mean that we have to be isolated or not have meaningful communication with the people we love and appreciate.

Feeling connected

Many people have a hard time feeling connected.  It happens with our family, friends, and the workplace.  The continuous improvement tenet of servant leadership is a universal concept that does not have to live inside a workplace. It can and should be how we express kindness and respect everywhere.

The following are different ways we can check-in with our family, friends, and colleagues to make them feel connected, and seen.

Show they matter, be present

One of the best ways to show people they matter is to be present.  If you are lucky enough to have the chance to visit and spend face to face time with your love ones, be mindful of that privilege.  Do now wasted spending time on your phone browsing through social media.  But if you won’t spend face to face time, you can plan for virtual events or a phone call. 

Sometimes we don’t reach out to people only because they haven’t reach out to us in a while.  Many things happen in life, we don’t know the reasons why this happened, but if you care about this person, it does not care.  Take the phone, call or send a text, or a message through any of the available messaging systems.  Or why not? a written note.  Send a postal card, or an old fashion letter.  If this is too old for you, then an email, but reach out.

Acknowledge their feelings 

Every year, we have around us people that is not too happy around this period.  Most of the time happen because they lose a loved one, or a job.  This year this situation is amplified by all the fallouts from the pandemic.  Gatherings of all type may have a different taste, but it is important to acknowledge the feelings, and the fact that this too will pass.  Hope and laughter are great things to share.  And while you are in that mood, acknowledge your feelings too!  It is ok to be feeling sad, missing the celebrations as we know them, and craving for human contact.  

Seize small opportunities to connect

You don’t need a party to initiate a conversation with someone you haven’t see in a while.  Do not miss the chance to use a Facebook birthday reminder or a LinkedIn work anniversary to connect.  Sometimes a simple hello, I was thinking about you goes a long way.  

Give the gift of giving, show they matter

Create the right environment to keep a connection with the people around you. Help those in need any way you can. For example, motivate those who feel sad to enjoy life and keep fighting the good fight.  Show people you care, share what you have, be a good neighbor, friend, colleague, leader, and family member.  During the holidays and all year long, the best gift is the gift of giving.  It makes you feel good, and it makes the other person feel connected and loved.  

How to show respect in the cell phone age.

Communication in the cell phone age

The other day I was browsing for pictures for one of my posts.  When I wrote the keywords communication and talking, most of the photos that I got back were people with cell phones or computers!  I know that the result depends on the algorithms used on that particular application, but yet, it was choking me. It drove my mind to think about a simple way to show respect in the cell phone age.

In what world we live, that all the talking is through electronic devices! A lot of the communication in and out of workplaces is through emails and text messages.  You look around, and all you see is people staring down at their devices.  You can see it everywhere, while in line in the supermarket, during break time, and even while in a restaurant with friends or loved ones!  We don’t talk anymore!  

What I am describing here, happens before COVID. Now, virtual communication is a blessing. But I am referring here to what happened before and for sure will continue after the pandemic restrictions are lifted.

Respect for the people, listen and be present

That situation kept me thinking about the continuous improvement tenet of respect for the people and how much we need to apply it to our lives.  I would be hypocritical if I don’t use the principles of CI to improve myself as a person.  Listening is the most basic way to show respect. If we seek to listen to our co-workers daily, why not with family and friends?  What happened with being present? 

Be present, even when not in the same place

This year, the holiday season is going to be harder than ever.  Many of us are going to be away from our families and friends.  Some will have a hard time putting themself in the celebration mood because they lost family members through this year, or a job, or their life savings.  

For all these reasons, it is important to reach out to family and friends.  We can revive those things from the past like a postcard or a handwritten letter.  We can send a care package full of love, simple things like a nice picture of better times, and some treats.  But the ultimate gift will be the gift of being present.  With some, you can be present through a simple phone conversation or any of those video applications.  With those living with you, be present by dedicating time without phones, tablets, or any other electronic devices.  Let’s practice the art of conversation and be present!

How do you show respect to your team?

Show respect

Respect in the workplace

Three characteristics of workplaces with toxic environments are disrespect, ineffective communication, and lack of growth.  Those things are the contrary of what lean promotes.   The heart of the Lean system is the people.  Continuous improvement is not about tools, it is about people.   In a successful continuous improvement culture, leadership trusts the team to solve their problems, and that requires much more than training.  

Showing respect to your team

The best way to feel motivated and good about their jobs is to feel leadership’s respect and trust.  Unfortunately, not everybody treats their peers with respect, not in the workplace, not in the street, or in the supermarket.  Considering the turmoil we are living in these days between the pandemic and the civil unrest for the double standard in our society, it is worth to list basic ways to show respect.


Show Respect!

Reflections

Leaders and citizens, we all need to learn how to listen more and talk less and practice compassion.  We need to hold one another accountable, be consistent with our beliefs, driving out fear of speaking up, and trying to do things better.  The workplace is not an isolated island, what happens in our society affect it, and vice versa.  Perhaps, the lean pillar of respect the people can help us to go through these challenging times inside and out of the workplace.  As I learned from Bob Chapman’s TrulyHumanLeadership blog, “To get trust, you have to freely give it.”

Do you believe in these lean misconceptions?

Do not makes these mistake, learn about lean misconceptions.
Do not makes these mistakes, learn about lean misconceptions

Like many other things in life, continuous improvement is often misunderstood. During my journey, the following are the most common lean misconceptions that I have encountered.

Most common lean misconception

CI is not a department store. Therefore, you don’t get to pick and choose what you think you need. CI is a system where you can only achieve consistent results is by using all its parts. CI is a business management system designed to provide customer value with fewer resources. It is made up of a group of principles, best practices, and tools. 

The heart of the system is the people, and you show respect by developing them. Moreover, these motivated and engaged teams participate in the improvement process and create value. In other words, you cannot focus on the tools while ignoring the people’s part.

Delegating the culture change is another lean misconception

The second misconception is the idea of delegating the implementation. CI thinking is opposite to traditional management. For a successful transformation, the company culture has to change. This change only happens if it is coming from top to bottom. Top leaders need to learn and practice CI every day, everywhere, just like the rest of the team. They show commitment by supporting and actively participating in the transformation.

Lean or continuous improvement is not a cost reduction tool

Another mistake is believing that CI is a cost reduction tool. Do not start this journey without a clear purpose. Why do you want to do it? If the answer is cost reduction, think again. Go and see, ask why, and show respect will lead you to achieve cost goals. But that cannot be the purpose. Instead, think about changing lives or creating value.

The biggest lean misconception is that it is for manufacturing only

The biggest misconception is believing that CI is only for manufacturing companies. Have you heard about Continuous improvement, Best Business Practices, Danaher Business System, or Lean Manufacturing? All of them are different names for a way to conduct business.

The foundation for those systems is the Toyota Production System (TPS). The name Lean Manufacturing shifts your attention to manufacturing. Also, TPS makes people focus on cars. I prefer to use continuous improvement or Best Business Practices. Those are general terms with no reference to any industry.

Now you know what not to expect from continuous improvement. If you haven’t yet, read my post What is Continuous Improvement and Why you Need it? You will see why you need it in your business.