If you are a company owner that employs staff, one of your biggest problems may be the disparity between what the company means to you and what it means to them. For you, the company may be your life. You may have founded the company, and given heart and soul in building it up over a long period of time. Your standard of living, and that of your family, is probably directly linked to the company’s performance – if financial performance is poor even for a short period, you may not be able to pay yourself as large a salary, or receive as large a dividend. If the business fails, the financial consequences might not bear thinking about. For your employees, the company might be simply a source of income to meet their essential bills and to provide funds for discretionary spending. They can turn up, work their contracted hours and then leave. Provided they maintain sufficient standards of work and conduct to avoid disciplinary action, and you are not contemplating making redundancies, they can continue to receive their salary indefinitely. A short-term fall in profits will still leave their salary unchanged. This can create a problem where employees are seen to be ‘coasting.' They are meeting the minimum requirements of the job, so you cannot justify disciplinary action, but you want more from them and feel they are capable of contributing more.

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