Business 1.0 July/August 2018

August 2nd, 2021 by Bryan

Now It’s Their Turn

By Lyle Hill

If you are a writer, there is nothing more rewarding than receiving comments from readers. It does two things for you. It lets you know that someone actually has taken the time and energy
necessary to read what you have written. So at least you feel that the time you spent putting your thoughts to paper was not wasted. Secondly, if someone comments on your work, it leads you to believe that you made them think.

So with these thoughts in mind, I was extremely pleased when a recent article, “The Ten Things They Won’t Tell You,” generated a high number of phone calls and e-mail responses.

That particular article dealt with those things employees would love to tell their superiors but dare not do so for fear of perhaps being terminated or punished in some way. I put a lot of time into that article. I had promised anonymity to the people I interviewed so they were candid and forthcoming with their thoughts. I actually thought the article was pretty well done, and I am the first to tell you that I don’t always think my stuff is all that good.

But it didn’t take long for the “other side,” so to speak, to start calling and e-mailing me about the matter. And by the “other side” I am referring to the owners and managers who were quick to point out that there are two sides to the employer-employee dynamic. They are correct and besides, who can argue with allowing the “other side” to vent a little? Thus it was that I then reached out to 18 employers/owners/managers that I respect from inside the industry and promised them anonymity if they would tell me what they might like to tell their employees if they could do so without fear of them walking out, attacking them or filing a lawsuit of some type. Here now are the most common comments with selected quotes from some of the respondents:

1. Show Some Appreciation and Respect. “I don’t OWE you a job. I am not the government. You have to actually work here to stay here. You want to be respected, well, so do I.”

2. Accept Responsibility for Your Actions. “I’m not perfect and I don’t expect my employees to be either, but they need to accept responsibility for their performance … or lack of it. Lose the excuses.”

3. Leave the Attitude at Home. “We all have our struggles and we are not at the top of our game every day, but if you can’t be friendly, cooperative and at least somewhat pleasant, do everyone a favor and stay home.”

4. Show Up On Time. “I had an employee who came in 10 minutes late every day. When I asked why, she always told me traffic was bad. I suggested she leave ten minutes earlier and she said, ‘that won’t help cause it’s bad then too.’ Between that and her 10-12 minute smoke breaks every hour, I don’t think she worked 6 hours a day. I finally replaced her.”

5. Act Like You Care. “I don’t really care if you care, but I expect you to act like you care … for your job, for your co-workers, and most importantly for our customers.”

6. Stop the Stealing Already. “And not just the pens, paper, staplers and anything else not nailed down. Stop stealing TIME. You are being paid for eight hours of work, at least get close to that, please.”

7. Go Ahead – Try It. “If you think you can do a better job of running a business than me, then do it! You might be surprised at how much blood, sweat and tears it takes … not to mention the
money you need to come up with.”

8. Keep Your Work Area Clean. “Your mother doesn’t work here, so you need to pick up after yourself.”

9. Keep It Professional. “You are representing our company. Be professional in your dress, mannerisms, language and attitude. When you’re home you can look, talk and act anyway you want, but not on the job.”

10. Can’t We All Just Get Along? “We all work because we need to make a living and take care of our basic needs. As an owner, I don’t have any ill will toward you. I want to see you do well. You want my loyalty to you, give some of yours to me. We’re really in this together.”

There were several other comments sent in by the employer/manager respondents but these were the most common, and certainly most printable. And there you have it. Thanks for reading.

Lyle R. Hill is the managing director of Keytech North America and a former owner of a window film company in the Midwest. He also provides auto glass and film-related advice on He has more than 35 years of experience in glass-related industries.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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