When I ask business owners “What is your competitive advantage?” they are very quick to provide a long list including their pricing structure, advanced technology or the quality of their raw materials. These are all good and well, but it is seldom that I hear them highlight their people as a competitive advantage in their business.
Why is that? Why do business owners overlook probably one of the most important assets in their business?
Perhaps it’s because working with human beings is damn hard work and if not managed correctly, employees can hinder business process and business success. However if you treat, respect and manage you team well and look upon them as an asset, it can be one of the best things you could do for your business. High-performing, focused and motivated employees can be an exceptionally difficult resource to imitate. This allows your business to stand out in the crowd and yes, good company culture attracts positive clients.
So how do you move your human resources, your employees from just being a resource in your business, or filling up a seat, to actually performing and living up to the position’s and business’s expectations? How do you get the most out of your team so they can be seen as a sustainable competitive advantage?
Gallup has provided us with the statistics that only 15% of the global workforce is engaged at work. Just imagine if you could increase this percentage. What would that do for you and your business? What would happen if you started treated your people like key assets, how would that change their attitudes and engagement levels?
Well, firstly it starts with you. Understanding your role as a business owners. You are the visionary, whether you like it or not. You are the main driver in your business. You are not just working in the buisness anymore, you are working on the business, guiding, directing, disciplining and coaching your team. Yes, that is your job.
Secondly, understanding that your human being plan is as or even more important than your marketing and financial plans. Without incredible people working to their optimum, you can market your business until the sun don’t shine and you will get nowhere. It’s a mindset change. Think people first. How can you get them engaged, focused and loving their jobs. This will only motivate them to work harder and smarter for you and the business. Then move to your marketing plan.
If your team is not currently a competitive advantage in your business, you are missing out. What do you need to change to make this happen?