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Letter: Five tips to help employee, employer relations

Just about everyone you talk to nowadays, knows that when it comes to business, both good leaders and good employees are getting harder and harder to come by. Many reasons exist from high costs of operating for companies to carrying of the mindset of disrespect of people in general. Taking a look at the past compared to what we have going on now, is a very great span of differences, both in thinking and doing. It's become a tough business world out there and an even greater challenge for employees of all ages.

The days of building trust with a handshake and taking a man at his word are long gone. The only thing any of us can put our trust in, in this world is the word, 'change.' And boy, are things constantly changing. For high speed fast paced personalities, the word 'change' is just another challenge they endeavor to overcome, win, and come out on top of. But there are many in the populous who take things from a much different perspective. Yet, both types of people are much needed in the workplace.

Many businesses could probably take bits and pieces of what I'm saying and apply them, which is fine. But the main reason why I'm writing this is because of the high turnover in a part of our health system that gives care to our elderly or mentally disabled. Cuts have been made on large scales that I fear will only get larger. But the quality of care cannot be cut nor can the employees who provide that care, for without them, the company would not be able to do what it does.

I see so many in management scrambling to keep costs down and using all their time and energy trying to train people who seem to quit more than stay, which I'm sure is a very frustrating thing on a daily basis. My heart goes out to them, yet the problem seems to be increasing and become more widespread as many are making cuts necessary both for the company and to keep unfaithful employees from taking advantage of them. Yet it is the dedicated employees that often get forgotten, and the quality of appreciation is very low to say the least.

Like management, employees also get very frustrated, both need to be respected and valued. And a frustrated employee who sees things being handled incorrectly will quit faster leaving an open gap that may be harder to fill. Management doesn't like constant frustration and being stressed, but neither do their employees. And good help is getting harder to come by, so it may just be time to invest in dedicated people rather than risk losing another good employee which in turn causes the quality of work that customers/consumers expect to be dropped.

There are two types of employees out there: those who are there just to get a paycheck, and those who are there because they care about their job and the people it serves. Money is nice, but having a job you like often means more to a person. Neither management nor employees want to be on the constant 'giving' side while receiving little to nothing to build them up and encourage them in their work. So I'd like to propose some possible solutions to our ever increasing dilemma.

1. Everyone needs encouragement. If mental gas tanks are running on empty, it makes jobs longer and harder. But a simple 'praise' and a little laughter can go a long way. So when it comes to encouragement, ask yourself this question, "How many people are going to want to stay at a job where they are constantly cut down/corrected without being given encouraging words?"

2. Everyone needs an "Atta boy/girl,' once in a while, even doctors, dentists and your mail person. Try not to take advantage of those who go out of their way by expecting them to keep doing it. Show appreciation when you see it.

3. Also, while management may see the overall potential in a person, the person needs to be taken 'as is' while being encouraged to become all they can be. We can't get hooked up in potential, we have to take people as they are where they are. Knowing one type is not more important than another.

4. For companies who work 24 hours a day, overnight help is hard to come by, mostly due to pay. So it might be beneficial to consider paying overnight help a higher wage. They will be less likely to leave and more likely to stay.

5. Finally, while it is an employee's responsibility to find their own replacement to trade hours with in non-emergencies, likewise, it is the companies responsibility to find their own fill in's when an employee is sick, in a family crisis, or other emergency. Don't stoop so low in cutting corners that you make what is the responsibility of the company the employee's. If you have trouble finding a fill in, your employee's moral may be the first place to check.

Lastly, I exhort you to remember the phrase, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." -- Pastor Sandra Eckman, Detroit Lakes