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Your Emotional Bank Account

The challenging economy has made the last few years a real struggle for most businesses. Asking people to do more with less has become the mantra and deferred raises, painful staff reductions, and increased health insurance costs have put a strain on employee relationships.

So what can be done to keep our employees engaged and committed, wiling to do whatever’s necessary, to ensure the success of our respective organizations? Dr Steven Covey offers some sage advice with his metaphor of the emotional bank account outlined in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Instead of dollar units, we make emotional deposits and withdrawals in our everyday interactions with our employees. Accounts are based on trust and employee’s willingness to go the extra mile, not because we ask, because they want to, depends to a large extent whether the balance is positive or negative.

While finances may preclude our ability to provide some of the niceties we generally can when times are good, that doesn’t mean we can’t work our way back to positive balances. Covey outlines a number of things we can do, at no cost.

• Understanding the individual - what motivates them and generates satisfaction

• Paying attention to little things - everyday acts of kindness and courtesy, recognizing accomplishments and expressing gratitude for a job well done

• Keeping commitments

• Clarifying expectations - letting people know what we want them to do and how they are doing

• Showing personal integrity – consistent honesty is a given; setting an example, maintaining confidences, demonstrating loyalty and adhering to ethical principals

• Apologizing sincerely when we make a withdrawal – we all make mistakes, whether and how we acknowledge them makes the difference.

Now is the time to honestly evaluate our relationships and deepen the loyalty of our people because as the economy begins to recover, as it will inevitably will, your emotional balances will be an important factor in your best employee’s decisions to stay with you or seek opportunities elsewhere.

Jay works with for Synergetic, Inc, a Professional Employer Organization or PEO. Synergetic partners with small to medium sized organizations to save time & money and increase employee productivity by outsourcing:

• Human Resources – Getting the most from your people
• Payroll
• Health Insurance and other employee benefits
• Legal and Regulatory Compliance
• Risk Management
• Worker’s compensation

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About the Author

Jay Scully, Synergetic, Inc.
2 Hancock Hill Drive
Worcester, MA 01609

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