What do they have in common?

Think about Google and Net Apps.  Now think about the Ritz-Carlton Resort-Hotel Chain, Best Buy, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Wynn Hotels.  What do they all have in common?

It’s how they treat their people.

Netapps just took the prize for best place to work from Google.  Nonetheless, we all know that they are both great companies in which to work because of the manner in which they respect, cherish, and treat their employees.  Of course, they hire carefully and well first.

Best Buy and Trader Joe’s have earned outstanding reputations in the retail service industry for the manner in which they hire, train, and treat people.

Both Bob Mackey, the owner of Whole Foods (with whom I shared a table at a conference a few years ago)  and Steve Wynn ”
Mr. Las Vegas” repeat how important it is to have happy employees in order to have happy customers.  Translation – treat people well.

Treating people well presupposes that you care about people.  I don’t think you can be an effective manager in today’s workplace without having (or acquiring) strong people skills.  Treating people well means understanding them and knowing how to treat them well.

Treating people well is not the same as ignoring them and letting them get away with mediocrity.  Total job security for those who don’t perform up to standards repeatedly, is actually offensive to those who perform well. 

However, even when you don’t approve of the work, it is mandatory that you treat people with respect – handle the need to modify their behavior in private.  Compliment in public.

Treating people well means listening, showing respect, expecting the best, (not the worst from them) and assuming that accidents and misunderstandings are merely that – not malice.

Treating people well is being helpful, not hurtful.  Stop picking on people merely because you have some power (“manager” “boss” “board member”) over them.  Petty power makes you look petty and makes people far less likely to respect you – and thus listen to you.

Treating people well means giving them the help they need when they need it – as soon as they need it – not waiting until they fall on their face.

Treating people well gets the best of others and therefore is actually the very best of business practices – it improves the companies reputation, brand, customer base, and bottom line.

ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D. – contact me if you want to learn how to gewt the most out of yourself and others.


1 thought on “What do they have in common?”

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    Well said!

    A related pitfall that good people often fall into: saying good things about people when they are around and complaining when they are not.

    I’ve had managers who would tell me how much better I was than so-and-so when so-and-so was taking the day off. Then they’d give some example of something so-and-so does wrong.

    The manager thought they were winning points with me, until I asked what they say about me when I’m not around….

    There’s a culture of competition where employees are pitted against one another, either in formal ways or informal ones like the example I just gave. When I see contests where teams are competing against one another it makes my skin crawl. This is counter-productive and usually produces unhealthy incentives.

    What Arlyne said rings true…treat people well. In addition, do so on the merit of their work, not based on any sort of internal competition.

    Josh Nankivel

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