As 2019 approaches, I have been thinking about some of my goals for my business.
We recruit and staff employees in manufacturing, distribution, and cleaning. (We also recruit and staff professional positions, skilled craftsmen, and skilled laborers, but I will leave that part of the conversation for another day.)
One of my main goals is to help them see the value they are creating for other people. We spend a lot of time communicating the basics — what time they need to show up to work, the dress code, safety tips, who they need to report to, and so on. Communicating the basics is important, and it’s frankly harder than many realize.
But I also want to improve on showing and communicating the value of the work to our employees. In other words, showing that we appreciate what they do. I’m still working on the ways to quantify and establish these goals so we can be sure we have been fulfilling them by this time next year.
It’s kind of sad that I feel that we need to communicate this. But unfortunately, I don’t believe our society does a good job in valuing these positions.
The reality is that manufacturing, distribution, and cleaning jobs are really the foundation of our economy. Without these positions, most other supporting positions can’t function.
We often think about what employees see in the job for themselves, but I believe a lot of people receive satisfaction in creating values for others.
My goal is not to convince them that their jobs are important. My goal is to merely communicate what is already true.
We tend to think that people are only interested in their work because of the money. But that is not true in many cases. Most people want to feel fulfilled at work. And one way to feel fulfilled at work is to help other people and to see how you’re helping others.
I will end my reflections with the words of Duke basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski in his book “Beyond Basketball.”
“One of my very best friends at Duke was a custodian named D.C. Williams. He and I had a tremendous relationship. … D.C. was responsible for cleanliness and upkeep of our locker room area at Duke. But in addition to taking care of his responsibilities, he maintained a spirit that permeated through everyone in our program. You knew when D.C. was around, because there would be gospel music playing, and he would be diligently at work with his ever-positive attitude. D.C. did his job with obvious pride, because his standards were so high for his own work, it raised everyone else’s standards as well. Our players wouldn’t want to drop something on the floor, knowing that D.C. would have to pick it up. D.C. helped create an attitude conducive to success.”
That is definitely someone who values his work and in doing so influenced many others!