As a business owner, you no doubt recognize the value of your employees to any success your company has achieved – and will continue to achieve. But simultaneously growing your business, staying competitive, and maintaining a great work environment can leave little room for employee development among your business priorities. Here’s how you can still invest in their growth.
Employees often seek to leverage retention in negotiations for improved salaries and benefits. To avoid letting matters get to this point, you need to lead the initiative for their growth. This means providing a structure of personalized mentorship and coaching, which can provide feedback in real-time and quickly address any struggles they might be experiencing.
At the same time, scout for potential and let your training lead in that direction. For instance, if an employee’s path to advancement could land them in a leadership position, rather than continuing to focus on improvement in their current role, give them training for the soft skills necessary to succeed in management. Show them that there is a real opportunity for them to succeed if they move forward with your company, and let them put in the effort to get there.
Inspire and challenge
Some of the world’s most innovative companies use unconventional methods to engage and inspire their employees. You don’t have to be a big brand to test and implement something along these lines; a small business can take a page out of Google’s playbook, for example, and try their spin on the “20% time” program to make employees creatively productive, as opposed to mired in routine and boredom.
You can allow your employees to devote some part of their time to learning and working on projects which may fall outside their scope but could benefit your business through innovation. Or you can assign them to projects which challenge them to grow, similar to what Adobe does. Either way, you’ll give them greater autonomy and a sense that their time and effort are being put to a greater purpose.
Focus on what matters
As your business expands to take advantage of new opportunities, it gets difficult doing everything at a high level. New functions and responsibilities create a growing demand on your company to recruit and train new employees to handle these jobs while instilling your successful company culture and values. The strain and costs placed on your business often outweigh the returns.
By identifying specific tasks that can be entrusted to a pre-trained external workforce, you can look for the right business process outsourcing providers to take on important roles that lie outside your core competencies. This frees up resources, including your employees’ time and energy, so that you can invest in their training and advancement.
Your people are the biggest reason why a given employee might want to stay and grow with your company rather than searching for opportunities elsewhere. Creating a workplace where people can have fun together while managing to work towards the common business goals is the result of intentional effort on your part.
Whether you want to focus on empowerment with flat office culture, foster an environment of competition, or getting everybody on the same page through bonding and group activities, define your culture and points of emphasis. Then filter out candidates who aren’t a good cultural fit, and invest in the ones who embody your culture.
Losing employees after investing in them is tough, but trying to stay afloat with a team that’s not motivated or lacking in training will ultimately lead you nowhere. Start investing in the right employees and ensure your long-term success.