ENTERPRISE54 – I remember once reading a book Outsider Insider by Promasidor Nigeria MD Keith Richards. In one of the chapters the veteran British exec addressed the tyrannous perception about corporate bosses among Nigerians. He said the average Nigerian expects his/her ‘oga’ to be mean and that his colleagues, who were bank CEOs and industry
ENTERPRISE54 – I remember once reading a book Outsider Insider by Promasidor Nigeria MD Keith Richards. In one of the chapters the veteran British exec addressed the tyrannous perception about corporate bosses among Nigerians. He said the average Nigerian expects his/her ‘oga’ to be mean and that his colleagues, who were bank CEOs and industry captains, shared with him that their subordinates expect them to keep a stern face to command their respect and that they found his servant-leadership approach rather strange.
After leaving reins at Guinness Nigeria for Promasidor, Keith Richards went on field marketing with several foot marketers and street hawkers of Promasidor products to understand market response to their products. As expected, the bottom level employees were shocked ‘oga’ was hustling with them on the streets in the heat of the day but Keith Richards did make an interesting observation. They were excited and marketed even harder.
Losing the air of arrogance and befriending ones employees really makes them feel appreciated and help boost their confidence and output. In a startup environment where there’s really not much hierarchy or employees, keeping an uptight attitude and inertness with team members is counterproductive. Every current and former L5Lab employee (investors in Jobberman and MTech) I have spoken with have nothing but good words to say about the founder Chika Nwobi. He is towering in stature, achievement and financial worth yet cool headed, easily accessible and welcoming.
A survey by Maritz Research revealed that employees who are appreciated have a seven time-more probability of staying with their employer and eleven times higher probability of being committed to their job. Apparently, you have nothing to lose.
Here are 20 ways of making your employees feel appreciated and gaining their loyalty.
Don’t focus on the negatives always. Do point out what they do right or praise them for it.
Say ‘thank you.’ You won’t die if you do.
Chat with them about their spouse, kids or family. Then they know you care beyond what they have to offer you.
Pay them a visit. Then, you’re really becoming a family.
Organize Friday night outs or Saturday outings. It would fire up your teams bond.
Celebrate birthdays. A thousand naira would get you a greeting card, several Coca-Colas and cookies. Take thirty minute breaks to let everyone say good stuff about the celebrant. It costs nothing to move your employees to tears with gratitude.
Do not make them feel you are doing them a favour.
Do not pull a sack threat at every ounce of anger.
Ask for their suggestions and seriously consider them. This is priceless to gaining loyalty.
There are great deals on DealDey.com and other deal sites. Reward your most productive staff or department.
You could reward with a one-day off-day too. Your company won’t crumble. It’ll just make your best man refreshed and others green with positive envy.
Give little cash prizes. Employees go broke by the third week of the month.
Give divestible company equity.
Hand them projects to run or the company for a day. It makes employees feel in charge and trusted.
Make certain they have ID and business cards they can proudly present to family and friends.
Discuss football during and after work hours. Your joy would know no bounds!
Give credit to subordinates for company successes.
Instead of ‘I’, use the word ‘we’ a lot more often.
This seems so simple but many startup employers default. Pay salaries promptly!
If you’ve got any more ideas, feel free to share!