I bet that if you were to stop for three seconds and ask yourself if you have ever felt taken for granted that it wouldn’t take you long to say yes. Now, imagine that I was asking one of your employees that question, and you were the person they were thinking of when they said yes.
Odds are very high that we have at times felt that our manager took us for granted at different times. Yet what if we make it a practice to take all of our employees for granted most if not all of the time?
My definition of taking someone for granted is that we assume that everything they do for us, whether it is good performance or the above and beyond activities are covered by the employee compensation and benefits package. Even if your employee is highly compensated, it is not an excuse for you to treat them as if their contribution to your team and/or organization is never going to change.
If there is one area of management development that is under developed it is recognition and appreciation. As managers we need to be constantly aware of what we are doing for our employees as much as what they are doing for us. In a blog I wrote last week, I mentioned that the former cocooning employee is breaking out and moving on to greener pastures. How much faster will they leave if in addition to thinking that another job will offer them more perks than the one they have now, but they also feel taken for granted by you too?
Now while it is bad enough that we take our paid employees for granted, I’d like you to consider your behavior and relationships with non-employees that hold your company together. Maybe you employ consultants, contractors, and temporary help. Do these people enjoy their quid pro quo relationship with you and your company? Do they ever feel taken for granted?
Some of you may use volunteers, interns and business associates for part-time work, or feedback and insights. This group receives no compensation and thus is looking for something in return for their participation in your company’s success. Do you treat them well, or over the years do a lot of these people no longer have anything to do with you? Humm, did they feel taken advantage of?
Bottom line no one likes to be taken for granted, least of all any of us reading this, so why on earth would you risk it all to let it happen to the people who keep your team and company purring along?