Shawnee Love • September 21, 2018
One of my neighbours has a sign that says:
You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter, and medical attention. Anything else that you get is a privilege.
Regulation # 5 from Alcatraz.
I recently pointed it out to my children noting that is what they are entitled to as well. They retorted I was just like jail. Touche.
Joking aside, that sign got me thinking about what my children are entitled to, because its certainly more than the basics offered to Alcatraz prisoners.
Then, because its my business, I began to reflect on what our employees are entitled to from us, their employers. Here is where I ended up (in no particular order):
- Compensation: Employees ought to receive regular, predictable and fair pay for the job they do and in accordance with the laws set out and the promises made (e.g., with respect to timing, hours of work, rate of pay, etc.).
- Respect: People deserve to be heard when they have questions or ideas, have their time valued, to be thanked for a good day’s work, and to be treated courteously (even if they make a mistake).
- Accountability: What I mean by this is that your employee should be able trust you to do what you promise to do (and per last week’s blog), you should be able to trust your employee to do the same.
- Loyalty: When you hire someone (unless otherwise specified with a term contract), it ought to be considered a long term investment. I.e., the person is not a disposable or recyclable resource.
- Work: Employees deserve to have work to do. That doesn’t always mean it has to be the exact duties you hired them for in my opinion. Everyone should pitch in to help the business succeed even if that means “other related duties as required”. But employees should have stuff to do.
- Time Off: People deserve to get away from work. Outside of working hours, they should be able to have downtime without having to check for or respond to emails, texts, or calls and vacations need to be truly time off. (Sorry owners and executives, this doesn’t necessarily apply to you.)
- Privacy: As long as their behaviours don’t harm or conflict with your business or negatively affect their performance (or risk any of these), people have the right to privacy over their non-work time. They can share if they want to, but you can’t (and shouldn’t try to) make them.
Curious to hear if you have anything you’d add to this list of employee “Rights”.