Ask Alex Rogers, CEO of CharTec and ARRC Technology, what surprised him the most about running his own business, and he’ll say that it’s the employees.

“When I first started my business, I didn’t expect to feel so thankful for my employees.  Their talent.  Their dedication.  Their spirits.  They are the reason my businesses have managed to take off and remain consistent.” – Alex Rogers

But unfortunately, this isn’t the way everyone sees things.

“So many business owners and managers like to think they’re doing the employee a favor… that just because they gave a person a job, that this new hire is forever indebted to them.  But this is all backwards.  The employee is doing you the favor.  Not the other way around.  They are blessing you with their talent.” – Alex Rogers

One of the most difficult things to do is to find good, talented, and motivated individuals to fill up your business.  But one of the easiest things to do is to lose those people.  All it takes is a little apathy, too much control, and not enough leniency… which are all difficult things for managers and executives to avoid.

So what does Rogers recommend?  It’s simple really.

  1. “Recognize the challenges of work-life balance and take steps to make it less challenging.”

There’s more to life than work.  You know that.  Your employees know that.  Everyone knows that.  But oftentimes, the stressors and demands of work can make living off the clock difficult.  It’s important to help your employees minimize off-the-clock work-related stress as much as possible, and it’s also important to ensure your employees have legitimate off-the-clock time.  This way, they can come back to work feeling like they’ve actually been away from work.

There are many ways you can accomplish this.  For example, when December rolls around, don’t just give your employees Christmas off.  That whole week is hectic, so consider giving your staff the day before and after off, as well.  You should also get into the habit of discouraging excessive afterhours work.  When you know the work can be done later and you know your employees are close to burnout, reiterate the fact that things can be finished the next day.

  1. “Understand that life happens on and off the clock, and don’t fall into a mindset of this for that.”

Children, appointments, car issues, breakups, health problems – these things happen.  And they happen All. The. Time.  You can’t punish employees because their personal lives sometimes creep into their professional lives.  If you make your employees feel guilty for taking a longer lunch to deal with a parking ticket or for leaving early to pick up a sick child from school, the only thing you’ll receive back from your employees is resentment and uncertainty.

As long as your employees stay productive and finish their work on time, never make your staff feel like they’re doing something wrong for dealing with personal matters.  Life happens, and if you can’t understand that, then your employees will find someone who will understand.

  1. “Bigger challenges will arise, and when they do, don’t give up too soon.”

Again, life happens at any time, and it cares not where you are, who you’re with, or what you’re doing.  But sometimes these instances of life can morph into something life-changing and can evolve from leaving thirty minutes early one day to being out of work for weeks or even months.

When this happens, you should oblige as much as you can afford to oblige.  Those challenges will pass, and it’s important that you show all of your employees that you will be there until those challenges pass.  The temporary loss is usually less great than the permanent loss.