I remember reading a few years ago about a large sign company that celebrated an special anniversary by throwing a party for the 150 employees and their families with food trucks, cake, and gifts.

This makes me wonder to what degree companies in our industry engage their employees, not only in celebratory events, but on a day-to-day basis. Business experts constantly point out that engaged employees are more productive employees but, unfortunately, after many years of association with businesses large and small, I have to say that many business owners don’t get it. In some cases it’s so bad that there’s a palpable adversarial atmosphere between owners, management and employees. Low morale, low productivity, and high employee turnover are the inevitable result. It’s not good for the bottom line.

And it’s not just a bottom-line matter. Who wants to work in and adversarial environment? Even as the owner who, unlike the rest of the employees can’t just get fed up with the atmosphere and walk out, why would you impose such an atmosphere on yourself? This is where you and your employees spend most of your waking hours; aren’t they better spent in a pleasant, engaged, productive environment?

So, the question has to be asked. What do you do to engage your employees, make them part of the plan, give them a reason to want to get out of bed and come to work on even the most miserable of Canadian winter days?