Dave Says Ė On Business Edition
(Having grateful people)
I own a small business, and I try to treat my staff very well. How can I keep them from taking things for granted or not appreciating them at all?
Iím like anyone else. If I spend a lot of money, or do something big, and it doesnít have an impact or people arenít grateful, it hurts my feelings. In those kinds of situations, as a business owner or just a regular guy, Iíd rather keep my money and not get my feelings hurt. I donít whine if things like that donít work out as expected. But I do sometimes teach on the attribute of gratefulness in team meetings.
Weíve tried hard to make this company a great place to work. We do things that lots of other organizations donít, so expecting a little appreciation isnít out of line. We buy lunch for our entire team a few times each month, and we also have a great profit sharing plan, among other things. When something like this is coming up we make a big, fun deal out of it, so that it doesnít become routine. If it ever gets to the point where these things are taken for granted, then weíll stop doing them and put the money somewhere else.
To me, ungratefulness is one of the worst character traits. If you think this attitude is becoming a problem, just talk to your team straight up about the situation. Thereís no need to call anyone out personally, but make your feelings very clear. Itís your job as a leader to give your people a great work environment. And if youíre a member of someoneís team, and you appreciate what your leaders do, you should act like it!
Iím not a business owner or in management where I work, but your EntreLeadership book was inspiring. Do you have any advice for how I can influence upper management at my company?
Here are a couple of ideas you could try. Iím never insulted when someone brings me a book they love on leadership. My team knows Iím always reading and learning, and I just look at instances like that as another opportunity to learn something new.
The second thing would be for you to take whatever has inspired you and put it to use in the areas of your job, and your life, that you can control. People notice that kind of stuff on the job. It makes you stand out from the crowd, and if folks ask you about it, youíll have a chance to teach them what youíve learned. You could end up being a virus that infects the entire company in a very good way!
(Leaders Who Care Are Real Leaders)
I have a young employee whoís struggling financially. I donít really see him outside work, but Iíd like to introduce him to your plan because it helped me. As his boss, would it be inappropriate to approach him about this and try to help?
My advice is to look at it this way. If you were in his shoes, would you want someone to care enough to try and help you? I think we both know the answer to that, but you have to be sure you approach this young man the right way.
If you come in as Mr. Know-It-All, youíre probably going to turn him off immediately. Just be genuine, and donít get too deep into his business. Maybe you could share a book with him, and let him know about some of the problems you had before. It could just be a friendly gesture, and make sure he understands itís not something youíre requiring of him as his boss. Then, if a wall goes up, you just back off. Just because he doesnít jump at the idea immediately doesnít mean a seed wonít take root.
Leaders in business who care about their team are real leaders. So, congratulations, Les. In my book, youíre a real leader!
* For more financial help please visit daveramsey.com.
About the Author
Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert, popular national radio personality and the author of three New York Times bestsellers Ė The Total Money Makeover, Financial Peace Revisited and More Than Enough. In them, Ramsey exemplifies his lifeís work of teaching others how to be financially responsible, so they can acquire enough wealth to take care of loved ones, live prosperously into old age, and give generously to others. Ramsey offers life-changing, financial advice as host of a nationally syndicated radio program, The Dave Ramsey Show, which is heard by 4.5 million listeners each week on 450 radio stations throughout the United States. His syndicated column, Dave Says, can be read in more than 300 print and online publications worldwide. For more small business advice, please visit daveramsey.com.