Businessman Coping with Unhappy Employees

The owner of a small business is negotiating with his employees for an increase in wages and better working conditions.

In the past, he would have eliminated the employees who initiated this “trouble,” and mollified the rest with an inconsequential increase in pay, explaining that this was better than losing one’s job.

After discovering the practice of when-which-how, he now has a different outlook on these matters. Although he must keep costs down to stay competitive, he now realizes that he has been too stingy toward his employees. Managing the costs of doing business is only one aspect of running an efficient enterprise. The other aspect involves the experience and skills of the workers who produce the goods and services he offers. Without these he could not compete in the marketplace at all.

When he first began practicing when-which-how he found himself focused on appreciation. The virtue of appreciation came to his attention immediately. As he worked with this virtue, he realized that much of the trouble he had with his business involved his lack of appreciation for his employees. As he examined this attitude more closely, he realized that he had taken his employees and their skills for granted. He had not appreciated their value to his enterprise. When he braided appreciation with understanding, he came to realize the importance of his employees. This allowed him to adjust his relationship with them through humility. As he internally outflowed these three virtues to his employees and learned to work with the other virtues, as well, he eventually instituted the when-which-how practice on the job and taught it himself.

Now, whenever the time comes for hearing grievances or negotiating wages and benefits, humility allows each party to respect one another’s position and status within the company. Understanding allows them to grasp one another’s interests and concerns. And appreciation allows them to value each other as members of one team competing in the marketplace.