By Karen Gateley
  • Caring is sharing

    Caring is sharing


It's a no-brainer. The best type of business to work with is the kind which understands that giving isn't all a one-way street from employee to employer. Here's how organisations can achieve more by giving more

Among the most common challenges I see leaders facing is substandard performance and high staff turnover.  

Many of those I work with struggle to leverage the full potential of their team to drive better than average results.  Just as often, I see managers overwhelmed with the challenge of finding great people and keeping them with their business for a reasonable period of time. 

The depths of emotional ownership people feel for the business they work for unquestionably impacts what they are prepared to give and for how long.  Put simply the more people care about their job, the business they work for and their colleagues, the more likely they are to strive to succeed.

Tapping into the potential of the talent and energy people are capable of bringing takes inspiring discretionary effort, that is the things people do because they want to. 

Organisations who get more by giving more bring a generosity of spirit to the way they work with both their team and community. Being generous however doesn’t always mean giving away or even spending money. 

Leaders who inspire levels of engagement that are reflected in the bottom line performance of their business often do so by giving flexibility, support and the opportunity for people to grow. 


Here are five ways you can give more and in turn earn more discretionary effort and loyalty from your team: 


Enable people to balance the demands of their work and home life by allowing flexible work practices.  For example, allowing a member of your team to take a morning off to attend an event at their child’s school will go some way toward earning their trust and respect.  Equally allowing people to adjust their work hours to meet the demands of study they are undertaking is likely to contribute to the way they feel about your business. 

Career development

Understand what people are hoping to achieve in their careers and look for ways you can help them to get there.  Invest time, effort and resources providing coaching, advice or learning experiences.  While a training course may be one way to help someone develop, think outside the square for ways people can gain experience.  For example having the opportunity to participate in an activity or project could be both highly beneficial and appreciated. 

Employee assistance

Contemplate how you can provide support to people on your team faced with serious challenges in life. One organisation I work with provided counselling support to the family of a team member battling cancer.  News of their generosity soon spread around the business and other staff reported feeling a deeper level of respect for and loyalty to the business as a consequence. 

Give back

Look for ways you can share your profits or resources in support of charitable causes.  Research shows socially responsible organisations are more likely to earn the loyalty of both their staff and customers.  Allowing staff time off to do volunteer work, facilitating charitable giving through payroll deductions and matching the financial contributions people make are examples of the ways in which you can demonstrate a generous spirit. 


In our fast-paced world time is often considered precious – be creative about how you can free up time while still achieving your organisations objectives.  Consider how you can help people to forge more time in their life to achieve the things they really want to.  Providing the opportunity to buy additional annual leave or access extended leave to head off on a sabbatical are a couple of examples.  PL


Karen Gately is a leadership and people-management specialist and a founder of Ryan Gately, a specialist HR consultancy practice. She is also the author of The People Manager’s Toolkit: A Practical Guide to Getting the Best from People and The Corporate Dojo: Driving Extraordinary Results Through Spirited People. For more information visit or contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 

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