One of the most rewarding aspects of owning a small business is our relationship with our employees. In a large corporation, a person is hired for a certain job. They are assessed on his or her performance and whether or not they reached assigned targets. If someone does not enhance the company’s profitability, they become expendable. Emotions are stripped from these equations because at the end of the day, it really is all about the precious bottom line.
In a small business environment, this formula realizes quite differently. Of course we need results and want certain tasks accomplished. We also have a bottom line to deal with. However, the true goal for the small business owner is that our employees care. We want people to serve a cupcake that they would love to eat. We would rather someone take a little extra time building a stained glass window for a client than rush through just to make a deadline. Our employees become an extension of ourselves and our hope is that they truly get what we are doing and why. After all, we can’t work forever.
In return, the small business owner is usually a little more lenient when it comes to individuality and creativity. We like to play. We want our environment to be fun and we want our employees to enjoy coming to work. In my business, we have more than a few amazing “sammiches” which have been created by our staff.
The most unexpected reward has come in the way of reconnecting with former employees. It is such a great feeling to see our “kids” all grown up in the real world. They tell us that they had a great experience working for us and that they will never forget their time at Liquid Lunch. There is not much better than that.
Alas, the corporate workplace has become such a scary environment where loyalty and creativity are rarely rewarded and fierce competition is the expected norm. Our goal is to reset this paradigm through care, appreciation and individual attention. As a result, our small business workplace becomes an extension of our family and at the end of our day, it truly is all about sharing what we love.