Alfred Hitchcock is famous for his alleged observation that “Actors are cattle”; he later corrected this observation noting: “I said ‘Actors should be treated like cattle’. Many businesses feel the same way about their employees – just there to be herded and supply labour or products. But what the former do not realize is that without the latter they are nothing. Those scripts can’t bring themselves to life, how many times has a good movie or play been ruined by sub-par performances? In the same way a great product can’t sell itself. Sure it can make people want it without much advertising but if there is no one to make it, deliver it, bag it or parcel it out or even simply answer the phone, it’s not going anywhere. Even self-check out lines need an attendant. If somehow you managed to get your customers to perform all these duties, the store still needs to be cleaned, good luck getting your customer to pick up a broom!
So treat your employees well, they are an important part of the process that makes your business succeed. Still not convinced? Ok one last example – think about the last restaurant you went to that had terrible wait-staff, you probably don’t even remember the food! Prime example of good product being undermined by bad personnel.
Good Human Resource Management saves you more than it costs, and you can do it on the cheap – just congratulate them when they do well and let them have some autonomy.
Ever been treated like cattle at work? Or have an opinion? Comment and let me know!
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