The best advice I ever received: Make sure you take care of your employees

As a leader, we face many challenges. The one that keeps me up at night the most, however, is ensuring I have properly taken care of my employees. As leaders, I believe we are first and foremost responsible to those we lead because they are our most valuable asset and supporting them can be the most rewarding part of our jobs.

It is the employees who make a company successful, and great leadership and care of the greatest asset you have is the most important role you have. You are not only there to ensure they complete the job they were hired to do, but you are also there to encourage and help them be their best self.

Yes, we have tasks to complete, and we must hold employees accountable to the responsibilities of their roles with the company. However, taking time to ensure your people know why their position is important and the impact their work has on the company and its customers helps them grow and take pride in the work they do. You can even go further and create a development plan for your team that shows other roles in the company that can utilize their talents as they learn and grow. Giving one-on-one feedback and having honest, sometimes tough, conversations with your employees also shows them you care about them.

It is so easy to get caught up in day-to-day tasks, to run from one meeting to another and not make time for employee development. Most employees want your input, time and honesty and appreciate learning from you how they can improve and grow.

I have never regretted the time I’ve taken to invest in my team and help them be the best version of themselves. Employees who know you care about them and want them to be successful are typically the most productive and many move into new roles where they continue making a difference for the company. Some even grow into leaders who, because of you, know what it is like to be cared for and appreciated by a leader, and continue that practice with their own employees. It’s a win-win.

Taking care of my employees – I find it to be the most rewarding part of any leadership position I have held. I am grateful for that advice as it has truly made a big impact on my life, and I hope the lives of others, as well.