Running A Business

Why Employees Should Be Treated Like Corvettes

Oct 05, 2011 • 3 min read
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      While helping a buddy work on his ’65 Corvette, it dawned on me that we love that car and can’t wait to fire it up every spring.

      What do we do before we take it out on the road? We wash and wax it, check the tires, change the oil. All those little things to make sure it’s performance is optimal. The Vet is worth about $40,000 and we treat it like gold.

      So what do we do with people?

      We have a person who is earning $40,000 a year and we often times don’t give them the attention they need when they need it and the treatment they deserve to be at their best.

      Instead what we do is expect them to perform at their best but aren’t willing to spend any money on them. We balk when they come in and ask to go to that seminar on something that is of interest to them. We question them on details that don’t have a real impact on the results. We nitpick the details on a project that they have put their heart and soul into and demoralize them.

      Instead, we should be doing ENCOURAGING them to go to a seminar so they improve themselves. Instead, we should be asking them to USE THEIR CREATIVITY and to do things in their own style because it brings a different perspective. Instead, we should be THANKING them for the time and energy that they put in on the project.

      Frankly, I get tired of hearing bosses complain about their people. Maybe as a boss we all need to look at how we treat our people. If our people are so messed up then maybe we need to get rid of them … but probably not. We probably need to take a good hard look at ourselves and ask the following questions.

      • Does it have to be exactly the way I want it?
      • Could my employee perhaps have a different perspective?
      • What should I be doing to encourage my people to learn and grow?
      • Am I spending the money I need to in order to properly develop them?

      Not every employee is Corvette caliber. I am well aware of that fact. But, they are not a $300 heap that we don’t bother checking the oil or washing and waxing either.

      When I came home, I decided it was time to change the spark plugs and wash and wax my 2001 mini van because I realized it will perform better if I treated it like the Corvette, even though it was not a high-performance machine. Perhaps if we TREATED all of our people like they are a Corvette, we just might get some addition horse power out of them.

      About the Author
      Jeff Kortes is known as the “No Nonsense Guy.” He is the President of Human Asset Management, and author of “No Nonsense Retention … Painless Strategies to Retain Your Best People. He has trained hundreds of first-line supervisors, managers, and executives during his career. His approach to training is no-nonsense, and practical. Jeff is also a member of the National Speakers Association and a regular speaker on the topics of retention, recruiting and leadership. For more information, visit

      About the author
      Jeff Kortes

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