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Employees: Blessing or Burden?

If you are a business owner with even a handful of employees, you know you’ve had those days where you either silently or verbally violently let it be known that you wish you could do it all yourself and not have to count on employees.

Sometimes, like other humans, employees will let us down. They won’t do the job exactly the way we want them to, or worse they may do it haphazardly as if all that matters to them is the paycheck.

It is a common lament of business owners that it is both difficult to find good help and even harder to keep it. Especially in a time as this when people have had plenty of lock down time two out of the last three years to really contemplate what kind of work they want to do and what kind of work environment they wish to be in.

The days of putting up with bad bosses, harsh work environments, work that lacks any meaning, along with being in an environment where one’s work does not feel appreciated is what many workers in recent times are saying “no” to.

So where does that leave the many employers who need to fill job openings with reliable and skilled workers?

Well, hopefully it leaves them rethinking their company culture.

If people have decided they are no longer willing to sacrifice their mental, emotional and physical health and wellbeing for a paycheck, which many have, then it seems reasonable to conclude that we need to figure out a way to make America’s workplaces healthier places to work.

That just seems like common sense. And yet… too many employers are still operating in all the old ways hoping for a different outcome.

If we can agree that a workplace culture shift is necessary for everyone’s health and wellbeing, and it’s still not happening, employers need to figure out why.

Are leaders and CEO’s resisting change? Are there supervisors and managers that are immersed and attached to the status quo? Who is rewarded by keeping things the way they are?

Who has the most work to do if things – attitudes, values, policies etc. have to shift? Is that person (or people) willing?

What seems simple can get complex in a hurry. For now, here’s just a few ideas to get you started on a new, productive and beneficial path to begin to shift your company culture. If you are the leader, CEO, or business owner, these are all within your control.

~ Start Listening, Observing and Being Curious. Watch your people as they show up for work. How do they look? Tired, frazzled, stressed, or energized, uplifted and encouraged? Have you spent too much time in your corner office to meet and greet your staff? Get out, walk around, say hello and ask questions. Then really listen. Ask more questions. Engage. Get to hear and know your people.

~ Put a survey out regarding what it feels like to work for your company or organization. Ask some pointed questions. People will often tell you more if they can remain anonymous. Ask what they enjoy about their job and the workplace. What stresses them out? How do they feel about their direct supervisor or manager?

~ Start looking for small ways to improve the workplace environment. Be sure you check in with your people about what they want, what they don’t want, and what they notice when a change is implemented. In other words, don’t make a change and not follow up with how that change is affecting others and impacting the workplace overall.

The Gallup* organization tells us that people don’t quit “jobs”. They leave managers and bosses that they don’t want to work for.

Up to 70% of job satisfaction can be related to the experience of what it feels like to work for the boss, owner or manager on the job.

You (or your managers) influence the workplace culture and happiness way more than you may have thought.

Lastly, to put it bluntly, many employers and leaders really don’t know how to make a lot of the changes needed to create a healthy workplace environment. It takes leaders and owners to take the first steps and often they are at a loss for what that looks like.

At Live Well Kitsap, we highly recommend investing in a good business coach to help you in this endeavor. Consider reaching out to Beyond Limits Coaching, or The Wellspring Company. Both of these entities are equipped to help you transform your company culture.

Ultimately your health and the sustainability of your company depend on the company culture you create. Let’s create something beautiful that is mutually beneficial for you, your leaders and the people who keep the wheels turning that represent your company.

When employees are happy, motivated, feeling valued and cared for, they are much more likely to treat your clients and customers with the same care.

Every body wins.

Learn more about Live Well Kitsap business coaches at

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