5 Ways To Support Your Employees

December 3, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

What does it take to be a great boss to your employees? According to Franz Metcalf and BJ Gallagher, nonprofit managers should take some lessons from the Buddha when it comes to treating employees with respect.

In their book “Being Buddha at Work,” Metcalf and Gallagher wrote that when there’s plenty of labor, the best and the brightest will want to work for you. When the job market dries up, however, you will still be able to choose the best and retain them so long as you provide your employees with the best working conditions. According to the two authors being a great employer isn’t rocket science; it’s about following five basic principles:

  • Assign work that employees can manage. Make sure that job requirements are a good fit with employees’ skills and abilities; make sure they have appropriate education and training.
  • Give employees food and money. If you are a large organization, consider providing a company cafeteria. Otherwise, provide a lunchroom with a refrigerator and microwave. Productivity and health are directly related, according to Metcalf and Gallagher, who also wrote that you should provide your workers with a fair salary.
  • Support employees in sickness. Everyone gets sick once in a while; and when people are sick, they need special care. If you give them care, they will return it many times over when they come back to work.
  • Share special delicacies. A little something extra every so often is a great way to let people know you appreciate them and their good work; sharing the goodies, whether profits or in some other form, is highly reinforcing.
  • Grant employees leave when appropriate. People are not cogs in a machine and cannot be treated as such. Special circumstances require benevolence and flexibility in allowing time away from work.