Stewarding Employees Well: Keys to Seeing, Valuing, & Managing Employees as People

July 26, 2018

In the July Round Table meetings, we discussed the topic of “Stewarding Employees Well: Keys to Seeing, Valuing, & Managing Employees as People.”

Dave Casterline, Executive Director of Three Rivers Health Foundation, will continue this theme at our upcoming Leadership Breakfast on August 17th. Click here to save your seat and hear Dave speak on the topic of “We’re Building People, Not Companies.”

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Below are the notes from the July Round Table meetings.

Rochester Round Table:

  • Personality tests to help them reflect on the questions.
  • Be responsive to employees emotional state. Look for opportunities to help.
  • Periodic meetings to check everyone’s pulse.
  • Gossip must stop. Bring the spirit of reconciliation.
  • Employees want you to listen. Stop and listen.
  • As a business owner, we have a responsibility to run the business well. Respect…
  • Pay for performance (KRM). You’re in the game or you’re not.
  • “It’s business, not personal” does not apply to the Christian.
  • Parenting mindset. Whose fault…
  • Don’t let pride marginalize millennials. People work for people. Give millennials purpose.
  • Don’t tell them what to do, tell them who they are…
  • Who is responsible for employee performance? The leader is. We hired them and lead them.
  • Woman at the well example. Judas’ story (He knew he would betray Him). Rich young ruler story (Need to deal with this one thing).
  • Performance is the responsibility of management/ leadership.

Grand Rapids Round Table (Tuesday)


  • Finding the common ground between meeting corporate goals and employee needs.
  • Dealing with communication gaps that isolate employees from the corporate culture.


  • Making training and give-and-take meetings to ensure common
  • Creating a clear set of core values and indoctrinate employees on ways to execute them as a matter of corporate culture.


  • Employees are people too. And people are individuals and must be treated as such.
  • Importance of using core values as a corporate rallying point, internally and externally.
  • A family oriented culture makes employees feel important and more than just a performance number.

Kalamazoo Round Table (Tuesday)


  • Small companies vs. large companies: you lose the ability to have as much contact with your employees as you grow.
  • Breeches in communication between upper level executives and employees in growing companies.
  • It is easy in large corporations to view your employees as numbers and data when you never have the opportunity to interact with them.
  • Effects of society at large: cultural trends of dehumanizing people.
  • Human nature: we are all susceptible to self-centeredness.
  • Inconsistencies in Leadership. Actions of the leadership are often at odds with the stated values of the company.
  • Easy to get in the habit of saying what you want and not asking what your employees see and what their goals are.


  • Try to create small communities within large corporations.
  • Foster a sincere interest in your employees.
  • Continue to align employees with the goals of the corporation. Must be reinforced often.
  • Remember that all employees have a role, including the least skilled.
  • How do you make goals come to life with small groups while unifying the company at large?
  • Departments are like a body: They all are connected and can affect each other.  Cannot allow company to be too segmented – don’t discredit the opinion of an employee because of their position or department. They may have a fresh perspective as an outsider.
  • Let employees know that their opinions matter and are valued.
  • Insecure employees cause turf wars and are constantly on the defense. This comes from an inability to be honest and talk through conflict.
  • When making changes, make sure your employees feel heard.
  • Value your employees beyond what they contribute.
  • Develop metrics to measure the goals of your employees. If you aren’t monitoring or  measuring a goal or task, it will not get done.
  • Company core values are not always sufficient for fundamental principles of communication and interaction.
  • Define your story to demonstrate your values to your employees.
  • Evaluate how your mission statement affects the company culture and culture at large.

Kalamazoo Round Table (Thursday)


  • Balance of workload. Many in leadership positions are bogged down with too much work to adequately lead their teams.
  • We are too busy to get better.
  • Valuing and seeing your employees takes time. It requires talking, learning, and asking questions of them.
  • Leaders often in charge of groups that are too large.
  • Character matters. Often see broken people leading broken people.
  • HR barriers – Legal issues of asking questions that are too personal.


  • We neglect God’s principles in our business to do our own will. View your employees as children of God.
  • Be willing to sacrifice your efficiency in order to have effective one-on-one’s and often.
  • Weigh external metrics against eternal metrics.
  • Be willing to admit when there was a hiring/promotion mistake.
  • Affirmation must be authentic.
  • Remember: Skilled workers will leave their bosses even at the expense of their pay.
  • Good stewardship includes financial responsibility. Is the paycheck you’re giving your employee a blessing or a curse? Instill good financial habits in your employees.  Consider Dave Ramsey’s program for employers.
    • (MLB requires all minor leaguers to go through financial training to ensure that they can manage their new-found wealth well).


  • Help your people figure out what they want to do.
  • Encourage your team.
  • Are we a blessing or curse to our team?
  • Remind them that they are uniquely made by God.
  • We tend to promote competency vs. character.

Kalamazoo Round Table (Friday)


  • What is stewardship?
    • Shepherding
    • A sense of responsibility for…
  • What does a company need to steward well?
  • What does an employee need to be stewarded well?
  • Why do we want to steward employees well?
    • It’s good for us and them
    • Coaching, correcting and by lifting them up they’ll be a better employee & produce more quality work
    • We get so focused on production and execution
    • Everyone brings value – it’s up to the leader to draw that out
    • You only see the tip of the ice burg & the tip of their potential!


  • Give an environment to engage them in the process
    • Surveying
    • 1×1 meetings
    • Use a Scorecard to rate managers & employees
    • Build stewardship into tradition & culture
    • Earn trust – seek first to understand then to be understood
    • Little things make a big difference
    • Help employees find reality & get to know themselves – what is it they’re really good at?
    • Acknowledge when they’re struggling & that we see what they see
    • Have crucial conversations – communication is key


  • If you do not come alongside them and communicate often, they will fill it in and create their own story
  • Compensation / pay incentives = in the service industry, employees shouldn’t make more than 60% of the service value
  • Build equity with people & show them we believe in them and want to invest in their development
  • Help them see our vision for the person
  • Where is the hidden potential in our company?
  • Make truthful and meaningful connections with people

Join us next month as we discuss “How Best to Show Recognition & Appreciation for Your Employees.” RSVP to