When you run your own business, it’s like you’re the captain of a ship. You are at the helm and it’s your unique vision that propels the vessel forward. But your efforts would be in vain were it not for the efforts of your crew. Your vision and leadership may be the driving force behind your business, but the hard work, endeavour, ingenuity and imagination of your employees are what has shaped it into the successful enterprise that it is today. One of the most egregious sins an entrepreneur can make is to take their employees for granted. Each and every one of them deserves every micron of development, coaching and support that you can afford them.
Entrepreneurs tend to be introspective folk. They agonise over whether they’re making the right decisions to ensure that their business is firing on all cylinders. If you’re at all unsure that you’re giving your employees the development they deserve, here are some pointers for you...
Remember, working as a team is a skill in and of itself
When we recruit employees we do so on the basis of skills and experience. We need to ensure that they are equipped to handle the challenges that their positions will present them with on a daily basis. But let’s not kid ourselves, personality also plays a part. We hire people with whom we’d like to work and who we feel would be a good fit for our team. But the synergy of personalities does not a cohesive team make. The ability to work as a team is a skill in and of itself and like any skill it needs to be honed and developed. Use services like Cluego team building to build teamwork skills in a safe, supportive and fun environment. It’s not only a great skill-boosting activity but a fun exercise that will build cohesion.
Don’t keep them in a box!
Obviously this isn’t meant to be taken literally (but just in case, don’t ever put your employees in a box- you may find yourself open to litigation) but you should not keep your employees in their current role when it’s clear to everyone that they’ve outgrown it. You get the most out of your employees when you show that you are invested in them as an individual outside of their ability to fulfil a specific function for your business. As such, you should give your employees space to grow and a course of continuing professional development. Provide them with a career path within your organisation and imbue them with the skills, knowledge and resources to pursue it. If you don’t provide this for them, they’ll leave you for an employer who will. And that would be a crying shame!
Do they have incentives beyond the monetary?
Performance related pay, monetary bonuses and other financial incentives are all well and good, but it’s important to remember that not all employees are motivated by money. The better you understand your team, the better equipped you are to deliver incentives packages that are tailored to their needs and circumstances. Some, for example, may value their free time more than pay and so will be more motivated by the prospect of more holidays. Some may value flexibility while others may value greater autonomy and opportunities for leadership.
When your team gets the development they deserve, you can be assured that your ship is sailing in the right direction!
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