Ask any successful business owner about his most important asset, and he will probably tell you it is his people. Interestingly, for most business owners and corporate leaders, people also represent their biggest problem! As a business owner you must be mindful of the important role that your people will play in your business and the challenges and problems that you will face in leading and managing your people. Our experience shows that there are a few things you can do to get the best out of your most important assets as follows:
#1: Establish Clear Policies:
Do not think that your organization is too small to have policies just because you only have two employees. Establish policies for simple people management issues – create an employee handbook that provides basic rules and regulations guiding resumption and closing, conduct during working hours, leave, resignation, and other issues. As you grow and evolve, expand and change these policies to cope with your realities. Without clear policies you are unable to build a disciplined organization, especially as it grows bigger.
#2: Build an Organizational Culture:
You will find over time that your culture represents your most powerful competitive weapon – it is not easy to copy! Build a strong employee culture around your Vision, Mission, Values and Strategy by setting a good personal example, communicating the culture all the time, and using these cultural elements in relating with your employees and customers.
#3: Invest in Staff Development:
When the air-conditioners in your office are faulty, you repair them, when computers breakdown you do likewise.
You even have preventive maintenance for generators and printers. What do you do to keep your employees in top shape? Forward thinking business owners invest in training and developing their employees. Valuable training does not have to cost an arm and a leg, so don’t be afraid to train your most important assets. Knowledge sharing through internally facilitated seminars and workshops is also a great way to develop your employees.
#4: Focus on Performance:
Your primary objective is to get your business to achieve its objectives – this can only happen when you and your employees are focused on performance. Drive employee performance by setting clear performance expectations, giving feedback from time to time and rewarding and sanctioning employees based on their performance.
#5: Manage Careers:
People tend to be more effective if they feel that their jobs are much more than just “jobs”. They connect with organizations that show them that they have a future. Build career paths for people in your organization, supporting it with adequate remuneration also, and periodic opportunities for career progression for your employees, i.e. let people know that they can move from one position to another and then to higher positions in your organization.
Remember, your employees are your most important asset. Your role as a business owner is to get as much productivity from your employees as you can. You can achieve this by establishing clear policies, building an organizational culture, investing in staff development, focusing on performance and creating clear career paths for your employees.