As a “contractor”, I’m never seen as an employee. Still, I like to be a part of the business I’m working for. I care about what I do and am driven more by what I hope to achieve than what I’m being paid. No, it’s true. Some businesses make me feel included. Some remind me constantly that I am an ‘outsider’. The more included I feel, the more “extras” I like to do.

But this isn’t about me.

It’s about YOU.

Are YOU a part of something at your place of employment or do you just work there?

The natural state is to want to be a part of the business. It’s normal to want your work to matter.

But many employers just want workers. Do the job you are paid to do; that’s what they want. Period. Many employers don’t want your ideas, your thoughts or, god forbid, your problems. Just do your job.

And then there are employers who want everyone to feel part of the success of the business. They want employees to care.

Employees who are encouraged to be a part of a business are far more productive and far more loyal. Why? Because they expect reciprocity. They expect the “boss” to look out for them as much as they look out for the business.

Big project? Sure, I can stay late tonight. I want to want to work on that big deal.

My kid is sick, can I take off early to take him to the doctor? Thanks, I’ll make up the time.

Working where people are a part of the business rather than simple producers, is more fun even though people work a lot harder.

Does it cost more if employees feel they are an important part of the business? No.

Do people take advantage of the relationship? No. Not when it’s genuine. I’ve been around a lot of businesses that claim to be a “family”. A dysfunctional family, maybe. Or a family with very controlling parents. No, you can’t fake it.

A business respects its employees or it does not.

So, at which kind of business do you work?

And if you run the place?

Chris Reich