When I think business, I think people. Why? Well in order to have a business or even a successful business it first needs people to add value, before value can be provided to clients. Without people or without the right people, there is no business.
So let’s rephrase our initial question. How much do you invest in your people?
When this question gets asked, so many people assume that it refers to a financial investment and their eyes glaze over and the common answer is, “We don’t have the budget right now!”
So, if you don’t have the budget, does it mean that you cannot invest in your people?
The funny thing is often employees are not always wanting the financial reward. Don’t get me wrong, extra money is great, but its not the only thing. Employees actually want other “investments” from you their employer.
Investment #1 – They want to be treated as equals
Why did you hire your employees? You hired them to do a job, which you couldn’t or didn’t want to do. If you hired them correctly then they would be an expert in that specific field. You might be the boss, but they are the expert. They know the right way and the wrong way to achieve certain outcomes. They need you to take their opinions, recommendations and advice seriously. They need you to listen to them. Not to patronise them, but to engage with them as equals and show them that you appreciate the value that they are adding.
How can you achieve this? Be present. Focus 100% of your attention on them and what they are saying. Being distracted and impatient in their presence can be perceived as showing a lack of interest and these specialists might will lose interest and move on.
By treating your people as equals you are including them. You are sending out a message that they are not just working in your business, but they are collaborating with you and working on building the business. They become instrumental in the business success.
Investment # 2 – They want to be developed
Good people will continuously look for challenges, growth and development. They are always wanting to improve their skills. If they are stuck in the same role they get bored and start looking for greener pastures.
People development can be achieved by in-house or external training, mentorship programmes and coaching initiatives. You can even ask your employees where they want to focus their growth and how this development will align to their current or future position within the business. You might be surprised with what you hear?
Investment # 3 – They want regular communication
This doesn’t have to be a formal sit down session. It can be a 10 minute chat over a cup of coffee. The conversation doesn’t even have to be about work, it can be about family, personal interests or even the weather. That small investment of your time goes a long way to proving you are actually approachable. Regular conversations, regular engagements and regular contact is key to building loyal team members and strong employee relations.
Investment # 4 – They want recognition
People want to know they have done a good job. It doesn’t matter who you are or what position you fill, everyone wants to hear “Well done! Great Job!” every now and again.
When last did you compliment your people for a job well done? You may find the following article interesting – Thank you!
Investment # 5 – They want responsibility
Good employees are people who want to be able to make decisions. If you demand that all decisions are passed through you first, then expect for your good people to leave.
By providing your people with the business vision, mission and values they are able to align their decisions to these business fundamentals when the need arises.
Allow your people to feel accountable for their positions and their decisions. By following this practise, you are not only developing your team, but you are building their confidence, their self-esteem and their loyalty to your business.
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