Engaged employees = 27% higher profit, 50% higher sales and 50% higher customer loyalty. (Gallup Study)
Is Your Business Set to Achieve Success Through People? Our FREE diagnostic tool will help you find out!
Consider for a moment the total value of your investment in the employees within your business -basic wage and salary costs, leave provisions, workers’ compensation and other insurances, training costs, incidental costs, accommodation and technology costs, recruitment and induction costs, the cost of casual staff to relieve employees on leave etc…. Think also about the time involved in recruiting employees and having them perform at their best, the time you might need to invest in addressing poor performance, conflict, customer complaints etc….
If yours is like most businesses, you’ll find that the total investment in your employees is significant, and in many cases it’s the single-most significant cost of doing business. With this in mind, it simply makes sense to ensure that your business is managing employees in a manner which generates the maximum possible return on investment.
That said, aligning people with the strategy of the business and putting them in a position where they are ready, willing and able to achieve their very best is not just the result of good luck. Rather, it’s the result of deliberate, strategic thinking and that old favourite…hard work!
If you’re prepared to take on the challenge (and let’s face it, can you afford not to!?), here are some tips to get you started:
1. Have a Clear Vision and Strategy– Successful businesses have clear goals, which are effectively communicated. They also ensure that the activity of all those employed within the business is aligned towards achieving those goals. Does your business have clear goals that are understood by all within the business? Does the work of each of your employees contribute directly to achievement of those goals?
2. Ensure Effective Leadership – If you don’t have the right people leading your employees, chances are you will be wasting plenty of time, energy and money. Do not pass go, do not collect $200! Do you have the right leaders in place to maximise the performance of your business into the future? Are your leaders consistent, with an appropriate balance between achievement of tasks and development of people?
3. Recruit Right! – Businesses often expose themselves to unnecessary risk and angst by incomplete or poorly-executed recruitment processes. Successful businesses have clear strategies and processes to support the recruitment and retention of the very best employees. Do you recruit for skills, experience AND temperament? Is your business equipped to make the right decision?
4. Set Clear Expectations – All too often I speak with business owners and managers who are beside themselves with frustration that their employees are not doing “the right thing”. But dig a bit deeper and it’s often apparent that they’ve done little in terms of setting clear expectations. Does every position have an up-to-date and clear position description? Are expectations reinforced through recruitment, induction, training and performance review processes?
5. Equip Others – Once you’ve set clear expectations, be sure to provide your employees with the skills, information and support they need to get the job done. Successful businesses focus on employee development and continuous improvement knowing that they will get a healthy return on their investment. Is your business developing employees capability of delivering the strategic goals of the business? Are your best people experiencing the growth and opportunities that will keep them in your business?
6. Manage the Risk – The reality is that there will always be a level of risk in taking on and managing employees. Whether the risk relates to legislative compliance, succession planning or health and safety, it needs to be acknowledged and effectively managed. Changing legislation and volatile labour markets are creating havoc for many employers. Do you know the risks and is your business effectively managing them?
7. Be Accountable – While some businesses get as far as setting expectations, many often fail to follow through. Building a culture of accountability for individual and collective performance is critical to success. If your business doesn’t already do so, it’s critical that individual and collective performance is constantly measured with a view to identifying opportunities for improvement. This includes employee performance reviews, establishing Key Performance Indicators, employee and customer surveys, benchmarking etc…
8. Value Contribution – The top businesses, be they large or small, never forget the value of their employees. Whether it’s through formal recognition or reward systems, shouting a lunch or a simple “Thank you”, acknowledging the contribution of your employees needs to be a key part of how you manage your people. Formal and informal recognition, linked to achievement of goals and the values of the business, is critical.
Interested? We’re pleased this month to launch a complimentary online diagnostic to assess current people-management practices in your business. Utilising the 8 Elements to Success Through People© Framework described above, your results will be presented in a comprehensive, tailored report complete with tips that will help you to optimise the contribution of your people.
Click here for further details and instant access to the FREE diagnostic.
Greg Mitchell, Partner