Unfortunately, most managers spend a lot of their time with the poor performers in an organization and often ignore their top people. Just because your best workers cause the least amount of drama doesn’t mean that you should ignore them! In fact, they might be capable of even more effective performance if you give them just a modicum of attention. Stroke their egos. Let them know you’re proud of the work that they’re doing. Find out if they have “best practices” that they’d be willing to share with others in the organization. If necessary, carve out time on your schedule to nurture the best. Whatever you do, give them the attention they deserve.
There’s no way around it — the American workforce is aging. In fact, this is such a major issue that the AARP publishes an annual list of those companies that do the best job with supporting senior workers. Such companies have these common characteristics:
- Help older workers adjust to the fact they might be managed by employees 20 years or more their junior.
- Tap into their wisdom and share it.
- Realize that senior workers like flexibility as much as working parents and others do.
- Place these workers in a mentoring position and give them a junior employee to mentor them on subjects such as technology and marketing trends.
- Invest in ergonomics that can make their jobs less tiring.
- Reconsider mandatory retirement programs.
- Think long term — their older employees do!
Older Americans want to work longer and many of them have to. Employers need dedicated and loyal workers willing to stick around for a while. If properly managed, this can be a win/win solution for all involved.
Caveat: A recent Jury Verdict Research Report reported three age discrimination verdicts in the amounts of $120,000, $120,000, and $500,000. That does not include the time, cost, and emotional investment associated with putting up the defense. When it comes to older workers, be careful not to step on the Age Discrimination and Employment Act landmine; realize that at times it might be cheaper to keep them, even if they’re not performing up to standard.
Imagine that you’re leaving a restaurant at lunchtime with a group of your friends and all of them put their business cards in the fish bowl for the free contest. Unfortunately, your company doesn’t give you a business card. Makes you feel rather unimportant, doesn’t it?
The fact is that every one of your employees should have a business card that states your company’s vision, mission, or values on the back side. This will have a reinforcing effect on the employee, and will help acknowledge and reinforce their loyalty — not to mention providing a great “plug” for the organization. Best of all, you can get 500 cards printed for less than $25 at many online vendors.
You can train your employees and sales representatives on how to use business cards by distributing the inexpensive “How to Get More Business from Your Business Cards” brochure available at www.bizbooklets.com.