Whether you’re at the earlier stage of entrepreneurship or your business has grown beyond these first teetering steps, the company cannot survive without its employees. They’re the backbone of the business – what makes it go! Without the right people with the necessary skillset and training, it’s like an anchor to the business, making it harder to run operationally and slowing its growth.
Here are a few ways that companies can be more proactive in developing their employees.
Create an Inclusive Mindset
The smaller the business, the more appropriate it is to place a greater focus on retaining the staff and building them up. In society, we tend to do a poor job of this – mostly people are intent on knocking other people down to get ahead. For companies that wish to move forward, they must turn this tendency on its head.
Assess what the business already has in terms of human talent, human potential, and opportunities for growth within the existing workforce. Whilst it’s always possible to bring in people from the outside – and sometimes that’s a good thing – it sends a message that there are fewer opportunities within the company for staff to grow and move up within the company. This is the wrong message to be sending, as it seriously impacts office morale.
Encourage Employees to Apply for New Positions
Not every employee believes in themselves enough to seek a more advanced position. Their careers can stall out and they may stay exactly where they are for a decade. No promotion is forthcoming, and they don’t apply for new jobs either. This isn’t just a mistake for the individual; in most cases, there’s something that the company could have done to help them advance up the ranks.
Encouraging the appropriate staff to look for opportunities for training and future advancement is where managerial prowess and effective support come into play. Every direct line manager needs to develop a plan for the individuals in their team that outlines where they are now, where they could be in the next few years, and how they can get there.
The larger the business, the more future positions are likely to open up that employees could apply for. Smaller companies may need to create suitable roles and adjust things around to create positions to avoid losing key members of staff who are frustrated with a lack of promotional opportunities within the company.
Seek Out and Eliminate Negativity
Negativity is an anchor on the business. It spreads like a virus through individual teams and then to other departments. Before you know it, the whole company seems to be down in the dumps, negative about the future prospects of the business and their role in it.
From a performance standpoint, it’s extremely difficult to get the best out of the entire team across all departments when stuck in a rut.
Managers have to take it upon themselves to root out negativity. Seek instead to discuss what the issues are with the person who is the most disgruntled and find appropriate remedies for them. Sometimes they’re upset about something within the company that can be addressed and resolved. Other times, they’re just not in the right job for them and will be happier working at another company or in a different industry.
Even pulling in fresh blood from outside doesn’t help. Quickly they get dragged down into the muck along with everyone else. Unless the main causes of negativity are identified and handled, it’s very difficult for the company to move forward productively and take advantage of new opportunities.
Fix Cultural Issues in the Company
When it comes to cultural issues, sometimes a culture has developed that isn’t healthy. If this is the case, then it’s important to tackle this early and make the changes within the company to improve or fix a core problem with culture.
It’s useful for all businesses to have a set of values that it abides by internally and to check actions against these values. This doesn’t mean a bland cookie-cutter mission statement either. Many companies put these up in a frame, but never change how they actually do business or treat their staff. Culture runs deeper and speaks to how people are treated in the course of doing their jobs.
Is it a healthy work environment or a toxic one? This is something that an astute manager will know in an instant. Then get busy applying necessary changes to overhaul any toxic elements and issues where actions or behaviors within the company don’t meet the expected standard.
Training the Managers to Lead the Teams
Whilst many managers hold a degree and received some managerial training within their degree course, that’s not always the case. Often, their degree covers a different, unrelated subject and they lack sufficient managerial training to be effective in their role.
To support the managers, and in turn to encourage their team towards a positive outlook with advancement prospects for the top performers, they may well require in-house management training.
With in-house management training courses that companies like The BCF Group provide, you can choose to have their trainers come into your place of work to deliver the course. They have a range of options available which range from the First Line Manager course to the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management – they can even create a bespoke course for your company if necessary.
Take a look at some of the different courses that are available to you and your employees and choose the one that you believe your company can benefit from the most. If you’re unsure on which to go for, just give the training provider a call and ask for their expert advice.
When taking the approach of fixing any internal issues first, it’s possible for a company to grow. However, when failing to do so by launching new initiatives or a training push without resolving teething problems within the business, this provides a serious impediment to progress. It’s up to individual managers to take any departmental issues seriously and get to the root of the real problems by addressing them properly. Once the hard work has been done, a more positive, optimistic culture emerges. At that point, both junior and senior staff are ready to embrace what’s to come. Skip these important steps and a business is likely to end up stuck in the tall grass.