Out of all the titles I've had in my life, one for which I'm most proud is "Employer". I believe my job as an employer is not just to provide someone with a paycheck, but to be a mentor. My goal for any of my employees, past, present, or future is for them to become better people as a result of employment.
Most entrepreneurs are exhausted. This exhaustion is not from the day to day business activities, its from the hundreds of sleepless nights that are a result of brainstorming and worrying about the future. We're on an endless rollercoaster and when we make the decision to hire employees, we are looking for people who not only can handle simple assignments but employees who can provide peace of mind. Having said that, here are 5 qualities that I look for in an ideal employee:
1. Trustworthy - Can I trust you? Sure there's the obvious, don't lie, cheat, or steal. There's also the question about whether I can trust you to do simple assignments NOW. I don't want to have to follow up a dozen times to see if you returned a phone call or sent and email. Don't make me ask you to clean the bathrooms twice or explain why cleaning the bathrooms is important, just do it.
2. Punctuality - Show up on time...actually show up early. This goes back to trustworthiness. An employer doesn't want to have to worry about whether you're going to show up to your shift or meeting on time. People who are habitually late are selfish, rude, and disrespectful. They might not realize it, but they believe their issues or snooze alarm is more important than everyone else. Arrive early and be prepared. Punctuality is an easy way to separate yourself from the competition.
3. Problem Solving - An employer, like a parent, needs to respond to every issue that is presented to them from an employee because when we get the message, we're not sure if the office is on fire or you ran out of paper towels. Be the employee who presents solutions, not just problems. When contacting your boss, present the resolution with the problem.
Perfect example of this was at our Sports Camp. Every Friday we gave the kids Kona Ice as a treat. Unfortunately, the truck left early and one of the kids didn't get a Kona Ice. This is a major disaster for a 6 year old, minor problem for an employer. My 17 year old daughter took the initiative to go to the restaurant and buy the little girl a special ice cream. Let's take the $1.50 story a little further. If Kada didn't take that initiative and allowed the little girl to leave camp in tears, then I'm dealing with a parent who wants their $325 back. Instead, the parent wants to sign the child up for next year.
4. Positive Attitude - This is huge! There's a big difference between doing your job, and doing it with a smile. Are you the person that uplifts your co-workers, offers to make a coffee run, and makes work a blast, or are you the person who leads the "bitch session"? Work isn't always fun. In fact, most jobs involve hours of tedious tasks just to get to the special moments that make you thank the lord for your job. The best employees make even the most tedious tasks enjoyable.
5. Drive - Believe it or not, most employers want to turn over the keys. They want to replace themselves. That's why I have no problem sitting down with employees and teaching them about everything I do. If they want my job, they can have it. Employers are looking for people who are driven and determined to take themselves and the Company to the next level.
When asking for a raise, don't just come to the employer and say "I've been doing a great job, I was wondering if I could get paid a little more". We're already paying you for the job you're doing and our expectation is that you do it well. Instead, say the following, "I'm looking to earn more money, are there any additional responsibilities that I can take on that will help you and the Company". On a regular basis ask, "is there anything else I can do for you".
Don't expect immediate satisfaction. The employer isn't waiting around for people to ask for raises. The most common response will be, let me think about it. However, in the following days and weeks, something will come up and the boss will need help. You want to be on top of his or her mind. You want the employer to think, If I just give Beth a few more dollars per hour, she can do the job and that will save me time and money of having to hire and train a new employee.
I want to thank all the employees that I've had the opportunity to lead. They have helped me grow and learn. I know I'm a different person today because of the lessons they have taught me and I only hope that I've made a difference in their lives as well.