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"No Matter How Busy You are, You Must Take Time to Make The Other Person Feel Important." -- Mary Kay Ash
By Deb Haggerty   Printer Friendly Version

In today's work world, managers and supervisors often feel that they have way too much work to perform in way too little time. As a result, many times the "people" things slip so the "work" gets done. It's easier to push a "person" aside to complete the "project" that's been assigned.

However, study after study shows that it's "attitude" that's critical in performance. Employees (and managers and supervisors) perform better if they're made to feel important. When you think about it, making people feel important should not be that difficult a task - they ARE important! If it weren't for the people in our companies, the work would not be getting done. Too often managers look at "the bottom line" and manage to it without understanding that the "people" produce that bottom-line.

Managers complain that it "takes too much time" to make employees feel important. That myth could not be further from the truth. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes an invaluable habit! Think a minute about what makes you feel important. Chances are that it's not a raise or a big speech or a commendation in front of the group, although those may also make you feel special. The smile and "good job" during a rough project, the small compliment on work completed, the acknowledgment that you're a good part of the team - these are the "small" things that take little time on the part of a manager, but make for big changes in an employee's attitude.

Ken Blanchard's book, "The One Minute Manager," is worth a re-read. The thesis is that those small increments of attention make vast differences in performance. Time has tested that theory and proven it correct. The small, unexpected bits of attention are worth their weight in diamonds.

Retention is becoming more and more of a problem for businesses -- many employees who leave do so because they didn't feel important to the company. Many have voiced feelings like "I was just a small cog," "they never noticed me, they'll never miss me when I'm gone," "the numbers were more important than the people." Managers and supervisors who don't take the time to make employees feel important in themselves and to the team directly impact the bottom-line -- negatively! Turnover, hiring and training employees are some of the biggest drains on company funds and profits. The first step in retaining employees is to make sure that the company values its people -- and lets them know it. Jack Welch, CEO of GE and arguably the best CEO in the country, daily takes time to hand-write notes to employees to encourage them. His model is one that could and should be adopted by businesses large and small!

As Malcolm Forbes stated: "It's always worthwhile to make others aware of their worth."


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