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There seems to be a general complaint about employees in Nigeria. Be it domestic or corporate, employers say hiring committed or even honest people is almost a mirage nowadays. If this is true, then it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that we are officially in trouble! But before we get out our cans of “staffticides”, let’s take a look at some things that may be fuelling this quagmire. Pay them their salaries There’s no more heart wrenching experience than a promise failed,  particularly after you’ve held up your own end of the bargain. The feeling is no different when it comes to unpaid salaries. I know employers always have good reasons and expect the staff to understand why salaries cannot be paid, but… no excuse can heal that gash of disappointment. It’s even worse when your staff sits broke and watches as you buy that new gadget, that new car, and even the summer trip you organized for your family. Reward Good Behaviour I heard this story recently, of a guy who was commended by a customer that was so impressed with how he resolved a problem. She made this known to his employers who later reported back to her that the guy had been adequately commended. Lies! Of course the customer later learned that the guy didn’t even get an acknowledgement. Amidst general lackadaisical attitude of most staff towards work these days, as an employer, try making it a point of duty to spot and reward exceptionally good behavior. And please, let it be more than ‘a golden handshake’.  The company in that story might have felt they were playing smart, but they outsmarted themselves by losing one good staff’s zest, and a customer- who will of course, tell other customers. “How About My Cut?” A staff brings in a huge brief or contract and the company makes a huge profit from the deal. The employer demonstrates profound gratitude – just that it all consists of plain ‘words’. Most bosses virtually explode with molten magma at the idea of giving their staff a kobo more than their monthly salary. No problem, but don’t be surprised when no more deals are emerging from their end. It’s a simple human formula; zero incentive = zero efficiency. Keep Tabs on Them It’s important for bosses to know their staff. Yeah, the basic information is always documented, sometimes a background check is even run, address verified, guarantor brought in, etc. These are all pertinent, but, how much do employers really know about their staff? Their future plans? Who is hoping to go for Masters? Who has a health challenge? Are any of them going through depression? This doesn’t make you weak as an employer, it just shows you’re human and that you see your subordinate as human too. Watch Them Bloom As an employer, one of the reasons you employ people is to grow your company or organization and invariably, your welfare. If progress is stunted, it’s only natural to pause and analyze what is happening. That same way, if growth is stunted in the individual lives of your employees, you should also find out why. Optimal staff performance is a sum total of the conditions of individuals involved. When personal progress suffers, everything else does; including the job. At this point, as an employer, you may be saying, “This seems much more like a parental role, not a boss.” But pause for a while and imagine the extra miles your staff could go for the company if they hold you in such regard. Showing care to them is not a weakness but an investment. Get them to take your organization like their ‘family business’ and watch your business soar to incredible heights.

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This article was first published on 8th June 2017 and updated on June 12th, 2017 at 8:25 am


Chioma Diru is a prolific writer, agricultural entrepreneur and life coach with a heart for children. Chioma works freelance for the BBC Media Action. Her work titled “The Twin Logs” was nominated for the Etisalat Flash Fiction Prize, 2016. She is Creative Director and Co-founder, Canuli Media which specializes in children’s entertainment. She is the author of “Sodality”, a children’s novel which you can buy here.Email her:

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