High-performing organizations look after their employees.
How much do you care about the people who work for you? As a leader, you might not have spent much time thinking about this question, but your employees probably have. And they likely have a more accurate idea of the answer.
When everything is going smoothly, it’s easy to say that you care about your employees. But when your relationship with your staff is under pressure, the truth usually comes out. This is when the employers who aren’t concerned with their staff’s well-being show their true colors – often with disastrous consequences.
The key message here is: High-performing organizations look after their employees.
Consider this real-life example of two companies, both of whom had an employee who was injured in the workplace and needed to take time off to recuperate. The first company made sure they routinely checked in with their injured employee to see how they were feeling and ask if there was anything they could do for them. This company’s employee was back in the office two weeks later.
The second company handled things very differently. They made no effort to reach out to their sick employee while he was off work. Out of sight, out of mind. And the result? That company never saw that employee again. And not only did they not return to work, but they also hit their former employer with a lawsuit for the injuries they sustained in the workplace. This just goes to show that small gestures of care and concern can make a big difference.
All too often, organizations don’t think they have an obligation to care about their employees’ well-being. And who can blame them? After all, it doesn’t say anything in the typical employment contract about having to show compassion for those who work for you.
But most employees believe that their companies do have obligations toward them. This belief is known as the psychological contract. It is a set of unwritten expectations on the part of the employee, concerning all the rights and rewards, on top of their salary, that they can reasonably expect from their employer in return for their labor.
Some high-performing companies are now making the unwritten written and turning the psychological contract into a real document that employees sign when they begin working for the business. These contracts specify everything that the worker can expect from their company in return for their hard work. Now that you’re aware of these expectations, have a think about what your own psychological contract with your employees might include.