i've been thinking about the importance of job culture as i've been sending off countless cover letters and resumes these past few weeks [all the while praying that the next job i land isn't as toxic as more recent ones have been]. and really, for me, most of the problems i've encountered along the way have come down to poor leadership. below are three key observations i've made as a manager, and an employee, over the years.
1) you get what you pay for.
i once got paid $0.25 more than minimum wage to manage a coffee shop. my staff's role? make coffee, and serve it. my role? the same + manage the staff we had during the daytime, count the tills and make the bank deposit, receive and put away coffee and food orders, address customer complaints, and so forth. realizing the weight of my responsibility compared to others, i asked my boss for a raise, to which he replied, "i can give you a $0.10 raise, sure". needless to say, i made like a baby and head out.
i couldn't help but think of this as i was hunting for a job today. it floored me when i'd come across someone looking to fill a management position yet only willing to pay $12/hour [which is only $0.60 above minimum wage, and $0.60 more than every other staff would get]. and even worse, i came across a detailed ad describing all of the employer's expectations of their future employee - and the list was many - followed by a "we pay $10/hour". $10.00 an hour? isn't that illegal?!
managers, owners, leaders, respectively, listen up - salary should be based on job description, education, and/or experience. good leaders pay their staff accordingly.
2) your staff don't listen to what you say as much as they watch what you do.
years a go, my boss was doing everything she could to get rid of one of my fellow staff members and would write her up for the most ridiculous things. one day, while i was in the office, i overheard her telling other staff that she was going to fire this certain someone today because, get this, she was wearing blue socks, not black ones as per our dress code. the truth is, my manager didn't even wear black socks - most people didn't - in fact, i had white socks on that particular day. i did what anyone else would have done [okay, maybe just what i would have done]; i pulled my pant leg up, showed her my clean, fresh, white socks and said, "i'm not wearing black socks, either, so if you're going to write ____ up, you can go ahead and write me up too". [for the record, no one got written up that day].
whether it's as small of an issue as following dress code, or bigger ones like being on time and possessing a strong work ethic, good leaders lead by example.
3) a thank you goes a long, long way.
encouraging others comes naturally to me. if you need a pat on a back, a 'you got this', or a 'thank you', i'm your girl.
that being said, i realize that it doesn't come as naturally to other people, but, and there's a big but, that doesn't change how vital appreciation is to your company's growth, and to those you lead.
at the risk of sounding too urban, happy staff create a good vibe, a good vibe = happy guests/customers/clients, which, in turn means, more of them, which, get this, in most cases = more money, which means, happy YOU. it's really not rocket science. we all win.
but what often happens is, we forget to show our appreciation. public acknowledgement. a pay raise. staff christmas party or dinner outing. THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO SAY THANK YOU, and so many benefits of doing so. good leaders appreciate their staff.
of course, being a good leader isn't limited to the above three things. there are other things that contribute - checking in with your team, understanding work-life balance, giving constructive feedback, allowing room for growth etc. - but these are the three that are dear to my heart, and this is my blog, so, well, you get what's dear to my heart.
until next time, friends.