Employees; Getting it right

They say it about marketing; ‘we know half is working, the problem is we don’t know which half’.

Not quite to that extreme but staff motivation and employee issues are a message we constantly hear from clients.

Salaries and wages are generally our biggest bill and it needs managing as such.

There is plenty of help out there, but in truth we can do a lot to help ourselves.

Firstly, it depends on your sector as to what resource you have available, you can’t give pay rises if you can’t afford them.

Alternatively, take Richard Branson’s example ‘Unlimited holiday, flexible working – it’s all about empowering people to make great choices’

Sir Richard is right but a lot of us cannot take that risk, cannot take our ‘hand off the tiller’, and if we do we will go round in circles !

Just take a minute to run though the below, it may hopefully help a little.

• Treat as you would want to be treated yourself
• Give clear direction of vision, goals, expectations on an overall company basis and on an individual basis
• Have a clear plan of your ‘ideal company’ and work out what team and skill sets you need in it
• Encourage your existing team to fit into the required roles
• Don’t be afraid to make hard decisions - replace where necessary
• Bad apples – get rid of them straight away – they will only continue to rot your company and they never change
• Have guidelines that everyone adheres to –keep it current
• Unless everyone is a ‘10’ at annual reviews try and replace bottom 10% annually (depends on your size and industry!)
• Reward on results – it can be simple, individual time/ task /targets– they could go home once finished – improved environment, the jobs completed and you can calculate capacity on time taken
• Do not over pay ‘external assistance’ unless they are delivering, split into 3 monthly (90 day) plans
• Engage with people in similar size businesses who have exactly the same issues
• If you can’t afford pay rises - give ahoc days and half days, it doesn’t cost you anymore
• Spring clean, every 3 months!! The amount of businesses we visit with weeds outside, that are drab and dirty inside is unbelievable- don’t be one! it doesn’t have to cost much
• Attitude is everything – employ on attitude
• Try and have some fun along the way, sometimes this is difficult in stressed situations – but aim to have it
• Go with your gut feel, it’s got you where you are today

The list goes on!

If you have built a business from scratch you have chosen, led and motivated your team – you know them.

The main issues can come from acquisitions - You don’t know the team in target companies.

It’s down to how you buy and integrate companies into existing teams, both legally through the company structure and from a general ethos point of view.

No acquisition is perfect – have a people plan, the people are the company, they do the work, hold the relationships and have the knowledge.

Spot any trouble makers early on - you won’t see them because the seller won’t tell you but watch out for the bad apples when integrating as they could destroy everything you have built thus far.

This is an opinion piece, each sector situation is different, just some collective thoughts from experience.

If you need any advice or further information on any business related issues, feel free to give us a call on 0845 337 3327 to speak to one of our consultants.

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