Fuelling your Organization for Success
People – managers, CEO’s, receptionists – regardless of the position – people are the cornerstone of any successful business. Sure, you can read endless business books on strategy, finances, marketing, and more, but when it truly comes down to it, you need a strong foundation of people to make any business operate successfully.
Great people not only keep a business running, but they also carry with them vast amounts of knowledge & talent that can leave with them if they walk out the door. The benefits of hiring and retaining key people are numerous. Many studies have shown your company can actually not just save money by finding and keeping the right staff, but it can actually increase revenues. Happy staff = Happy customers = Happy shareholders/owners…. respectively of course. Part of the problem that created inattention to customers and employees was the introduction of the term “shareholder value” that came about in the 1980s. This was supposedly created by the CEO of General Electric and subsequently adopted by other public companies, and eventually many private companies. While this may seem like a small thing, companies, just as people, follow the trend of the day, and suddenly the focus shifted from the customer to the shareholders, and in many cases completely ignored the employees.
The equation became this, which doesn’t equate: Happy Shareholders = staff that should be happy because they have a job = Customers who buy from you because their choices are limited. This methodology does work for a few very large businesses in which direct competition is extremely limited, but for small, mid, and even lower-end higher revenue businesses, this methodology does not and cannot work.
Fortunately, in recent years, it has become more popular to study the methods of leaders such as Richard Branson and Mary Barra, which is great, but too few companies are implementing similar practices. It seems to be a very slow process.
In specific terms, owners and managers often don’t have a strategy in place when it comes to hiring and retaining employees and it can be one of the places business owners look first to improve profits when times get tough. Instead, they implement layoffs, slash hours, or take away perks in an effort to improve their bottom lines. Common sense dictates the equation should be this, which for whatever reason gets forgotten:
Happy staff = Happy customers = Happy shareholders/owners