Revisited: Good-Hearted Business Owner & The Bottom Line

By Christina Suter on Sep 05, 2015 at 07:51 PM in Business Issues
Revisited: Good-Hearted Business Owner & The Bottom Line

This week I wanted to talk about being a good-hearted owner and the bottom line. The culture of America as a whole, and among many small business owners is that we don’t want to be thoughtless in our business. We are anti-big business because it can be heartless, greedy, and does not revolve around a human or good belief system. It is absolutely possible to be a conscious minded, kind, or good-hearted business owner, and not have it negatively affect your bottom line.

One of the things that should be clear to employers and employees is the difference between being friendly and being friends with employees. Being friends with your employees means you treat them with the same personal guidelines you’d treat your actual friends. Friends share, as a version of currency, but your employees are not your friends; treating employees as friends crosses boundaries. Employees are people you have hired to perform a task, fill a role, and to carry out their job, the exchange there is their time, talent, effort, and work in return for payment. Avoid adding friendship currency, giving leniency, or being unresponsive to employees when they fail to uphold their side of the employment agreement.

Friends excuse, forgive, and may not even mention tardiness; employers don’t have that option. If your employee shows up late for work, fails to complete a project, or speaks poorly of their job to coworkers or customers, take action. All of those things contribute to a negative work environment, bring down morale, and ultimately, it is time and money out of your pocket. Late employees cost more, they require you or others to fill in for them in their absence, and their work isn’t being completed when they aren’t present.

For the benefit of the employee, as their boss, be sure that you comment on and/or establish warnings and consequences when work is not done or tardiness occurs. This will keep the bottom line unaffected, and will help reassure the employee that their presence and their work matter. Encourage employees to show up on time, do their best, and to be proud of their work. When speaking with your employee, inquire as to whether there is a way you can help or support them in their home life. Maybe a temporary situation in their personal life is prohibiting them from arriving on time, make temporary changes to their hours or schedule so you both win. Adjust their job description or commitment, if they can’t perform the tasks assigned to them right now. Give him or her the opportunity to have a voice, and to see that you understand and that they matter. If nothing changes and warnings have been given, offer a new position entirely, or let them go.

If, by nature, you are a generous person and want to run and own a generous business, be sure to value your time and efforts. Price your products and pay yourself and your employees appropriately. Assess whether you pay your employees too much or yourself not enough, and most of all, remember you are not responsible for the livelihood of your employees.