Having to recruit new staff is an often slow and arduous process. It can typically take around 20 weeks from beginning to end. Once you have gone through the hard work of recruitment and selection to find the appropriate people, you then want capable performance from them as quickly as possible. They also need to have high expectations of you; that you are going to treat them as individuals, with respect and equality.
Keep people focussed As part of their induction and on a regular basis you want to share your business vision with your people. You are the entrepreneur; you have the passion and the drive to make it happen. It will only happen, however, if you ensure that all your team members are focussed on common goals and are heading in same direction. Your strategic plans also need to be clear and communicated to everyone on a regular basis. People are easily distracted, negative influences take effect and people lose direction. Make sure you keep them on the right path with constant reinforcement of where the business is going and how they will benefit.
Be open with your people and the likelihood is that they will be open with you in return. This is a key part of building rapport and trust. Through mutual trust you can align your strategic direction with their personal plans for development. It is very important for each team member to be working together to achieve common goals that move the whole business forward in the direction you want. Shared VALUES are also essential for quality standards to be understood and met on an ongoing basis.
Demand PerformancePeople like to be directed and fully conversant with the extent of their role. Be precise about their responsibilities, quality standards and the need to maintain a “customer first" approach at all times. Give them autonomy so they feel empowered to take charge of their role and develop their abilities. Allow them to experiment in a supportive environment so that they can push the limits of their capabilities and allow their personal splendour and uniqueness to shine. This requires some risk on your part. People will make mistakes; blunders will happen and there will be a cost to your business. This is an inevitable part of growth. Growth only comes with experimentation and risk. Just make sure you limit the down side with robust processes in place. Most of all support your team with a LEARNING culture not a blaming or critical culture.
This doesn’t mean you exhibit weak leadership, quite the contrary. The best leaders support all their team members, nurture their development and encourage them along the way. So you can demand performance from them and expect them to demand performance of you.
Make sure your pay and reward systems match your expectations of achievement. Behaviour is always reflected in how it is rewarded. Have a performance related reward system that recognises peak performance and provides reward accordingly. Do not recognise mediocre or inconsistent performance. Keep your basic pay scales low and pay generous bonuses only on achievement of agreed and measurable attainment of objectives.
Develop your people Make sure you equip people to perform at their best. This requires ongoing training and development. Always include formal elements of training that are appropriate, properly organised, planned and conducted in a professional manner. This may require meeting early or staying late. It may also involve “off premises" training sessions and bringing in external expertise to conduct training. Be prepared to INVEST fully in your people.
Don’t be afraid to let go of your best people if it is time for them to move on. Nothing lasts forever and you will ultimately be rewarded for having their best interests at heart. Let them go and send them free of resentment or ill feeling.
Encourage sharing of ideas and creative thinking Consistent and regular communication is an absolute must. People need to be kept informed of what is happening in your business and the latest developments. This requires constant and daily communication both formally and informally. Make sure that if you have an important communication to make, whenever possible, everyone is included together. There is nothing worse than finding out from a colleague what should have been explained to you by your boss.
Be as open as possible with information that is relevant, of course maintaining any confidentiality. Show genuine interest in all your people and encourage their interaction, feedback and ideas. Every business has within it virtually unlimited potential for growth. Often this is lying dormant or is locked within the minds of the staff. Don’t allow this to happen in your enterprise. Encourage ideas sharing and creative thinking. The solutions to your most demanding challenges are always there to be found. Make sure you bring them out.
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ISBN 0-9548916-0-0 Brian James is published author of the breakthrough book “Don’t Work for Your Business – Make Your Business Work for You" with an Amazon.co.uk 5-star rating and credited by the Chamber of Commerce.
Brian is creator of the breakthrough Triple M™ marketing methodology and founder of the Sales & Marketing Academy, an expanding membership programme for ambitious business owners providing ongoing advice, coaching and mentoring support.
Brian was recently interviewed on national television as a business expert by Experts on TV.
Brian has worked with blue-chip and small to medium sized companies across many sectors. Some of the larger organisations he has worked with include the Prudential Group and British Telecom. He currently operates as Chairman of the Brian James Group a business advisory Group for owner managed businesses.