For a lot of people, Labor Day has always been just another paid holiday on the corporate calendar - I know it was for me, anyways. It wasn't until I started a business of my own that I even began to think about what the holiday really means, or should mean to me, as an employer.
The American workforce has come a long way since the late 1800's. We are a far cry from the working conditions those laborers endured, but it merits reflection:
- 12-hour days, 7-day weeks
- Child labor as young as 5 and 6 years old
- Insufficient air quality
- Unsanitary facilities
- Inadequate breaks
These weren't just blue-collar men - it was entire families just trying to make a basic living. We are all familiar with the regulations that have been implemented, and continue to evolve, to protect employees. But, does it seem crazy to anyone else that the U.S. government had to intercede to get employers to treat employees with human decency??
With Labor Day fast approaching, I wanted to remind you of the significant history of the holiday. Why? Because great employees don't need you to micromanage them. It's easy to distance yourself from them, because you know you can trust them to get things done without you - so you can focus on other things. We jump through hoops to win and keep new customers… but are we as diligent with our own employees? Employee retention is critical to so many areas of successful business, that Labor Day seemed like a great opportunity to remind you [to remind them] how valuable they are to you and your business.
You don't have to run in with a giant check like Publisher's Clearing House or start giving out cars like a daytime talk show host to make a point. You can, however, start making simple changes in your daily operations to prioritize communication and connection with your employees. Make personal phone calls to employees that are working a lot of overtime or are managing challenging projects; ask them how they are doing and if there is anything you can do to help. Sign and send birthday cards. Commit one day a month to taking a couple of ground-level employees to lunch. Company-wide initiatives are great, but not as personable. Personal connection can make a huge difference with the individual - that can have an exponential impact on your business.
Happy employees are the very best advocates for your brand.
Happy (upcoming) Labor Day, Safe Digging and Best Wishes for a Strong Finish in 2020,
Mason Private Locating, LLC