I was reading a profile this past weekend about a business owner who was being recognized for rapidly growing his operation during the pandemic.
The reporter asked the owner how many employees the company has.
The owner made a big deal out of not knowing, throwing out ranges (a total of thousands of people within his “range”) and finally settling on a number.
I have no idea what the owner’s actual intentions were, but he came across as if he was too much of a big shot to know how many people were on his payroll. Too busy to be concerned with that trivial piece of information. More important things to pay attention to.
The answer was strange. And it was also revealing of how little this person apparently values their own employees.
And I bet the employees feel this, too.
I wondered right away how the employees of the company felt when reading that article. That they mattered so little to the person whose name was on their checks. Making a big joke out of the most important asset of the corporation: The people who come in every day and hustle to make it all work.
Whether a business owner employees just one person or one hundred thousand people, every single person has value. Has a personal story to tell. Has purpose, and gifts, and things they are passionate about.
Actually not knowing how many people work for one’s own company is strange to me. Making a big joke out of how many do is profoundly disappointing.
Owners who give employees second-class treatment often have high turnover, low engagement, and difficulty attracting new employees.
Every person out there matters. Every single one.