Provide emotional job security

Dennis Ellmaurer


Globe National Corporation

312 E. Wisconsin Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53202

Dennis Ellmaurer is a management consultant working primarily as a TEC (The Executive Committee) chairman, leading three CEO mastermind groups in southeastern Wisconsin. In addition to his work with TEC, Ellmaurer does executive coaching and is president of Globe National Corp., a Milwaukee-based advisory and consulting firm assisting owners of small businesses with exit strategies and succession planning. This week, Ellmaurer shares his insights about the importance of providing emotional job security to employees in a post-recession economy.

“The downturn in the economy left many employees dazed, confused and mistrusting of management. With the economy working its way out of the recession, how can business leaders repair the damage done and rebuild a healthy, productive work environment? In short, how do we address the basic emotional job-security needs of our workers?
“Several years ago, when a company I co-owned was dealing with some difficult labor-management issues, our attorney suggested a little book called “Discipline or Disaster: Management’s Only Choice.” The book outlined four principles that served us well then and apply now at every level of employment.
“First, tell your people what is expected of them in terms of job performance. This rule goes well beyond the gobbledegook of the classic position description. Force yourself to ask, in clear terms, do my employees know exactly what they are expected to do on the job? Metrics help.
“Next, advise your people whether or not their job performance is meeting expectations. This is not the annual performance evaluation. This is direct, personal, regular, face-to-face feedback. While managers tend to avoid these potential confrontations, employees actually welcome the accountability. They want to know where they stand.
“Treat all employees fairly and impartially. People know when one person is held accountable and another is given a pass. They also know that something is wrong with the system.
“Finally, base your judgments on facts rather than opinions. Metrics help here, as well. But application of the principle still requires management judgment – judgment based on facts, not opinions. As companies begin to hire once again, your best workers – those who may have been staying in a less than ideal situation out of fear – will have other options. Companies that meet the emotional job security needs of their people will have a significant competitive advantage.”

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