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By Kyle DeFur | Feb. 24, 2016

Your Staff Feels What You Think

I have a question for you. Do you tend to think of your employees more as an expense on the income statement or as an asset on the balance sheet? This is not an accounting question, it’s a philosophical question.

If you think of your employees as an expense on the income statement your primary focus is on finding ways to reduce that expense. This mindset is about aggressively pursuing ways to reduce the number of employees, and the corresponding employment expense, to improve the bottom line. In this philosophy, employees are seen as somewhat of a “necessary evil” to the operations of the business.

On the other hand, thinking of your employees as an asset on the balance sheet results in attempting to find ways to make your employees better so the value of your business will grow. This approach sees employees as one of the very few assets that can actually appreciate, as opposed to depreciate, with time. The growth of the business is directly affected by the degree of growth and development in the lives of the employees. Employees are seen as the key to business success. These leaders are always looking for ways to invest in employee development because the better the employees, the greater the value of the business.

I don’t know how you tend to think of your employees but I do know this, employees feel how you think. When I think back over my career and the many different people I have worked for I can’t recall many of the specific things said but I can remember how that leader made myself and others feel. Interest, or disinterest, is perceived through actions taken, involvement in decision making, responsiveness, intentionality of communication, eye contact, listening, facial expressions and availability. People can sense the degree of interest in them from their leaders. Spend enough time with someone and you will feel what they think.

If you see your employees as an “expense”, they feel resentment. If you see them as an “asset” they feel appreciated. How employees perceive their employer thinks of them directly effects their level of engagement in the success of the business. And businesses with employees engaged in the success of the business will always perform better than those with unengaged employees.