There are a lot of different schools of thought on what your company’s most important asset is. Creativity? Custom service? Good leadership? A strong brand? While all of these factors could be argued to be crucial, there is one even more important resource that most business experts agree needs to be a primary consideration - your employees. Put simply, the people you employ ARE your company - even more so if they occupy customer-facing roles. That’s why investing in training and developing, managing people correctly and ensuring a healthy, safe working environment are so important to the future of your business.
Your Employees Are Front Line
When you first launch your business, you may well be the sole employee and the ‘face’ of all your operations. But as your company grows, you have to learn to delegate to other people. They will be going out there, dealing with clients and representing your business, and this makes them incredibly important to your future. The old saying is ‘people do business with people’ and this is never more true than in the B2B sector, where your reputation is extremely important and quickly becomes known. Loyal employees who are bought into the vision and values that you promote will do the best possible job. They produce products, render services, promote your business, process finances and gather the ground-up intelligence that you need to succeed.
You’re Buying Skills
When you employ someone and give them a wage, essentially you’re buying a skill. Their unique combination of natural aptitude, knowledge, learning and experience. Like any business transaction, this is an investment. So if you don’t look after that investment, you can expect not to realize a great return on it. How do you look after your investment in people? Firstly, by continuing to develop them. Getting them on to appropriate training courses, letting them gain new skills, finding them a mentor, developing their capabilities and empowering your employees to make decisions. As they grow, so does your business. The second thing is to look after their welfare. Happy employees make better decisions, are more productive and become great ambassadors for what you do. Simple things like optimising the workspace, allowing flexible working practices that help their work-life balance, making sure they have the tools and training they need to operate safely and as the best version of themselves, and covering them with things like MEWA insurance, all count towards looking after this asset.
The cost, time and effort put into recruitment is immense. As a growing business it can feel never-ending - you may even begin to wonder why you don’t seem to have time for core activities as you’re constantly interviewing and onboarding. Reducing staff turnover makes sense in so many ways. It saves you cash and frees you up to concentrate on your other activities. So a main goal as an employer should be to create staff loyalty. You do this by being human. Giving chances, extending understanding where necessary, encouraging development, offering opportunities. All of this will help to create a working culture that makes people want to stay and give their best selves to the business you’re trying to create.