Let’s have a quick rundown of what happens when you don’t get the benefits you’re lawfully entitled to:
- On a fairness scale, you would lie on the unfair side. You’re not getting what was supposed to be given to you and you’re definitely not meriting from the situation either.
- You’ll probably lose the drive to be productive. Benefits are plus factors that help us keep maintain our productivity at work. It feeds our reward system and helps us do are jobs right because we know we are getting commensurate from it.
- You’ll start getting annoyed with your job. Knowing that you are deprived of something can be really damaging to your morale. This destroys what little enthusiasm you have for your job and almost every teensy weensy bit of problem just gets to your nerves. When the boss bosses you around, when your colleagues dish dirt about you, when your computer doesn’t start up right, or even something simple such as the photocopier being out of order – all these things just get right into your system and you start dreading each day you have to wake up for your job.
- You’d get jealous of people who are actually receiving their benefits. Next, envy will cloud your heart. You’ll start questioning the system. Why is our company like this when that company isn’t? Why doesn’t our company provide this when that other company does? Why does a friend of mine who works in a company two blocks away receive health insurance and I don’t? All these questions plaguing you will eventually turn toxic and destroy whatever rapport you have built with the company you’re working for.
- You’d want to start looking for a job someplace else. Well, the logic is that if this company can’t provide what you need, maybe it’s time to look for one who actually can. Your visits to recruitment offices become more frequent; you immediately look into the job ads page the moment you get your hands on the daily newspaper; and you start updating your online work portfolio and send them out to prospects – even while you are still with your company. Your loyalty is dead. Your desire to work in team is dead. Everything you felt for your job once upon a time, are all dead.
And who’s to blame for this? Who’ll suffer the most consequences? Definitely, not you.
I wrote this article today not to give employees funny ideas but to give employers a wakeup call. Your employees are not robots; they know when they’re being treated unfairly. Your employees aren’t stupid either; they know when their rights are being abused. And lastly, your employees are not objects; they deserve as much respect as you require of them. Employment is not a one-way street. You can’t expect your employees to show undying loyalty, excellent work productivity, and over-the-top work outputs when you’re not doing your part. And your part is simple, really.
Encourage employees to be better. Commend them when they’re doing something great. Recognize their efforts. Thank them for being and staying with the company. Let them know that their work is not left unrecognized. All it takes is a few sentences, a few moments of sincere appreciation. Compared to what they’re doing for you, helping you grow and move the company to greater heights, a minute or two of pausing and recognizing their good work is hardly any trouble. Encourage your employees by appreciating what they do. Connect with them on a humane level. Trust me, it’ll go a long way.
But always reprimand with respect. When some of your employees have done something wrong, don’t make them feel as if they owe you the world just because of what they did. Don’t scold them rashly in public – it makes you look ill-mannered not authoritative. Instead, call their attention and tell them to see you in private. Tell them that they have failed to meet what was required of their work. Don’t tell them that they are horrible people. When you point out errors, make sure that you only target the behaviour – never the person. There will be a huge difference in your employees’ coping and response.
Telling them to get lost or threatening them about losing their jobs if they don’t get rid of their stupidity (just an example) will make them retaliate against you. They will scorn you. On the other hand, if you only point out the behaviour that displeases you and the work implications or errors that arise from exhibiting such behaviors, your employees will come to understand that it isn’t them you’re angry at. It is only the behaviour they exhibit. This allows them to change such behaviors in a subtle, grudge-free manner.
I’m not saying you should give your employees extra pay every week or anything like that. Simply giving them what is rightfully to them is generally enough to keep them motivated. If you’re employee is doing overtime, give him his overtime pay. If your employee is working on a holiday, give him his holiday pay. These fair conditions encourage your employees to trust you and your management. It tells them that you are someone who can lead others well. And for that reason alone, they’ll also be encouraged to stay with the company and be more productive.
You should also see to it that your employees are at least entitled to state benefits like Social Security and Workers Compensation. If you have the means, you can also get them health insurance – especially if hazardous situations are common in your industry. You have to keep in mind that employees are lending their abilities to your company to make it grow, to help it get better. Every effort they exert each day, every hour they put into working, adds to your wealth. Wouldn’t it be fair to give some back? Getting them insurance will not leave you penniless and the gratitude you’ll receive for doing so will be priceless. It’s good a deal as any, if you ask me.