Show Me More Than the Money

March 7, 2022 By The Siren Of Support

Payday is great. But that deposit that hits my account weekly isn’t the only reason why I work where I work. I need security and appreciation. I need an environment that promotes growth and nurtures my natural talents. I need to feel like part of a team and I need to know that my voice will be heard. Lucky for me, I get all that and a paycheck. 

A giant part of ETE is our culture. I may have mentioned that a time or two, but it never gets old for me. Transmissions aren’t sexy. Transfer cases don’t get the blood flowing. The building of the product is pretty much what you would expect from any successful company in the manufacturing industry (well maybe a little better). We aren’t a culture of drivetrain, we are a culture of the people. It’s what goes into those builds and the sales and support processes that make our company different. It’s our culture, from the top down, that fulfills my needs. Sure, I could snag a new gig almost anywhere, but I would feel empty and unconnected. 

What happens when you have empty and unconnected employees? What do you get when your team feels like they are nothing but numbers? What happens when your people aren’t invested in anything more than that deposit hitting their account? 

You cultivate an anti-culture. You have a group of clock-punchers. People that are only concerned with what directly benefits them. There is no buy-in to get better. No collaborations on improving the process. No stake in the game. You might have a group of people that get the job done but they aren’t happy, they will walk the second they get a better offer. They are dating you, not married to you. 

I have been there, I have been that worker bee that came in, did my job and left exactly as the clock struck five. I walked in daily to glum faces that barely muttered a “hello”. The boss said nothing. All that I knew about these people, except for random pictures that hung in sparsely decorated cubicles were their names. Some, not even that. If I didn’t work side by side with you, you were a stranger in the halls. I had no connection, allegiance, or commitment to this job. I went on maternity leave and never came back. 

How do you create a bond strong enough that your employees would easily promise, “till death do us part?”

  1. Invest In Them: And they will be invested in your company. Provide opportunities for employee growth. Acknowledge not just weaknesses, but also strengths. Don’t just say you care about your employees, show them by taking time to know what is important to them and then doing something about it. 
  2. Connect: Get to know your people. Know what interests they have. Hobbies? Pets? Even their favorite color. Know what makes them tick. You do not have to be best friends or an on call therapist but show enough interest to make them know you see them as more than a drone. 
  3. Do Not Assume That Silence Means Satisfaction: The quiet employee that never has anything to say. They love their job, they would love to stay late and to help solve the next big issue, right? Most likely wrong. Maintain communication with your teams. Ask how they feel in regards to their role. Whether it be weekly or monthly make sure you stay in tune and up to date. Even if they voice that they are unhappy and looking elsewhere it’s not a total loss. You have the opportunity to prepare for their departure, get some candidates in the hopper. Or better yet, if you value them as a team member,  DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. 
  4. Celebrate: The team that plays together, stays together. Holiday themed potlucks, special events, public recognition. Little things go a long way to bring your team together. It’s more difficult to be miserable and move on when you are surrounded by friends. 

By creating an environment that breeds friendship, communication, and connections, you won’t only have long term employees. You will have happy ones. 

As I write I realize it’s only Monday, I suppose I’ll wait til that deposit hits. Mama needs a new pair of shoes.