[This article is a part of 'Inside Out' series which we are launching today]
TinyOwl is going downhill! But it’s old news now, after being the point of many conversations last week for many in the startup ecosystem, and even outside it. So let’s be honest. How many of you have suddenly woken up to reassess your employee relations?
Interesting isn’t it? When there’s a break-in at the neighbours’ house, we suddenly decide to up the security of our own homes. But the frenzy lasts only a week or so. After that, we go back to leaving our doors open just like before, but only until another break-in happens.
To begin with, why can’t we all just be careful?
You might say that’s easier said than done. “You don’t understand the time it takes and the number of processes that need to be changed and followed to set things right.”
No it doesn’t! It takes only five minutes a day to begin with! Here goes my elevator pitch!
I present to you, Relationship Building
How long does it take to appreciate a fellow human being? A minute, or even less, maybe? Why not take that time to appreciate your co-workers and employees? And then appreciate yourself for taking the initiative to appreciate others. Believe it or not, giving someone a compliment costs nothing. It is absolutely free!
That’s not all. It comes with additional benefits and a referral programme. That one nice word from the boss will brighten an employee’s day enough to compliment 10 other fellow co-workers in the organisation.
What are you waiting for? Hurry! The offer lasts only till the next startup comes crashing down!
But no, we won’t do that! And here’s why not.
“Too much appreciation will make employees complacent about their work. They need to also understand where they are not working enough,” is one probable, classic response.
That’s the problem with core team members. Being too critical within the core team just when you got started was fine. You had to do that to push each other to see your startup grow in the right direction. Unless you watch out, though, the same culture often continues with the next round of hires and everyone else who later joins the organisation. Employees often start feeling estranged. They don’t feel appreciated enough at work, and the bad-mouthing begins and gets steadily worse!
A few kind words of appreciation will make your employees pay attention even to your feedback. Note: It is to be given as feedback, not criticism. Now, this needs no major change in your HR policy, doesn’t take much time and is definitely something that you can go back to whether or not your neighbours’ house gets broken into or comes crashing down.
In reality, here’s what’s very likely to happen. After discussing the TinyOwl crisis and everything related to it over a few beers, all of us will go back to our lives. Of course, we will. But remember that how we choose to go back and what we choose to after that is still our choice.
PS: In no way does this mean that it is okay to fire hundreds of employees; such actions will have consequences. It only means that it could be useful to have good employee relations.
Time to go get that beer now!
About the author
Brindaa Lakshmi handles marketing and communications at Ploud.io. She is a tech journalist who uses design and text to create great UX. She makes deep science to simple English.
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