At our November Networking Event, our Speaker, Jaco Louw from Tip of Africa Creations, shared with us his insight about how to treat the people who work for you.
Firstly a little background about Jaco. Jaco lives in Struisbaai, Overberg, Western Cape and manages his own business. Formerly known as Jaco Louw Cupboards, and now Tip of Africa Creations, they manufacture custom made cupboards among many other things. Just one quick peep into their showroom and you can tell that their craftsmanship is of high standard and they produce some magnificent woodwork!
Jaco tells us that the reason for his success is because he is first and foremost a son of God.
As For Me And My House We Will Serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Even though the people who work for Jaco will probably claim that he is a perfectionist, Jaco has no problem admitting that he has made plenty of mistakes throughout his life. He sees what he does as a great blessing, creating something from nothing.
Jaco will often take people off the street and teach them his craft. And when asked about his reputation, and whether he’s not concerned that someone that is uneducated, and possibly used drugs before among other dire things, could tarnish his image? Jaco’s response is that the Lord has made everything perfect, it is this world that corrupts things, and it is our job to bring the perfect out of people again.
So how do you get the people who work for you to give their best?
Firstly be an example – first you live the life you want others to live, then teach them that they work for their Maker and represent God, therefore whatever they do, they need to do to the best of their abilities.
Make people accountable – if you want people to still give their best even when the boss is not around, then create opportunities where you place people in positions of leadership, where they are accountable for their own and other’s actions.
Speak highly of people – if you run someone down, whether to their face or behind their backs, you are only doing damage to yourself and your business. Show respect to all people and expect respect in return.
Teach people to bless others – be an example of how to live a life of gratitude, servant hood and generosity, then teach people to go and pay it forward.
Have an open door policy – be willing to listen to people and to help where you can, but don’t lend people money. Instead empower them to either save money or get a good credit record with the bank. Give people time off to attend important family events, but don’t allow them to abuse this.
Make people feel that they belong – do fun things with your staff, like team building. If applicable give them uniforms. Remember that just because it is your business, the benefits of your business should not be excluded from the people who help you build it.
Equip people – spend time teaching people and helping them to acquire skills. You might lose them to start their own business, but you are creating job opportunities.
Be nothing but Excellent in Everything you do, Expect Excellence from Everyone, and Promote Excellence.
Thank you Jaco for sharing your wisdom and for a very inspiring talk.