Over the years I have written a number of articles about employees. And there have also been several blog posts on this subject and will, undoubtedly, be more. But most of the time the perspective has been from the employer's point of view. How to get more out of your employees, how to get them trained properly, how to make sure they are happy, etc. But the other day I was made aware of a request made by an employee that, frankly, made me admire the person.
Over the years, I have had many employees ask for more money. Many times their request was justified and, when things were going well, I always tried to accommodate them. Of course, just as many times the request was not justified and I found myself in the awkward position of having to tell this person why they were not only not worth more money but in some cases, not worth what they were being paid to begin with.
But the other day, a friend who runs a construction company had an employee come to him and instead of simply asking to be paid more he asked, "What can I do to be worth more money to you?" My friend almost fell over! What a great way to open a dialog. He was able to point out a number of ways in which the employee could increase his productivity and, therefore, his worth to the company.
The positive attitude and understanding exhibited by the employee's phrasing of this question raised his esteem in the mind of his boss by several orders of magnitude.