Your team is an integral aspect of the success of your business. While you might like to think it’s all about the quality of the business plan and the implementation of your business vision, it is the people who work for you that have their nose to the grindstone and produce the exceptional work that drives your company forward. As a boss, investing in your employees is one of the best investments you’ll ever make in your business. It is your employees who bring skill and dedication to the workplace; driving customer satisfaction, inspiring innovation, and translating your vision into concrete action.
If you’re running your very own startup and basking in the freedom that self-employment gives you, chances are that your business venture is currently successful. With a flourishing business that is making annual profits, you’re likely keen to expand and fulfill your market leader ambitions. When you expand your business, you inevitably need to hire more staff. You might expand your services, take on a greater variety of business functions, or simply take on more work. This means more bodies in the office to cope with demand.
While you might question the link between investing in your employees and outcomes, it is you, as the employer, who facilitates a wonderfully, inspiring working environment where employees thrive. When your staff team is inspired, they produce higher quality work and are more productive. Beige carpet tiles, moldy ceilings, and damp, musty smells simply aren’t going to cut it. Whip out the white paint, swap the strip white lighting with dimmable spotlights, add a touch of greenery, and put up some local artwork or photography. Modern workspaces are key to helping your staff remain motivated and boosting morale.
You need your staff to wake up every morning and look forward to coming to work. With a more modern workspace, you’ll have an inspiring office that inspires your staff to do their best. Forget the individual desktop computer booths, you should focus on installing collaborative work pods, more open plan work environments, and good quality hardware. By providing your staff with the environment and hardware for them to do their work to the highest quality, you are able to invest in them effectively. By spending money wisely on a decent WiFi server to limit downtime, better laptops, and industry-specific software, you are showing your employees that they are valued and respected.
For most employees, their number one priority within the workplace is gaining new skills and having the opportunity to move with the times. This creates variety in their work and offers opportunities to take on new challenges. Professional development can be expensive for an employer, but with upskilled and fully trained staff, you’ll be repaid tenfold within the workplace.
By empowering your staff and hiring an SEO speaker to train your IT department or by sending your marketing executives on a course to work towards a nationally recognized qualification, you are securing those skills within your company. Yes, you may run the risk of investing in your employees only to have them take their newfound skills elsewhere, but if you have a sound working environment and opportunities for promotion, you could end up basking in the glory of an exceptionally qualified workforce.
When you hire your staff, you need to ensure that you create a team. It’s all too easy to become seduced by the glowing resumes full of blue-chip experience and Ivy League college degrees. While these candidates are obviously exceptionally well qualified and they will excel individually, they might not be the most suitable candidates to fit into your team.
You need to create a cohesive staff team that gets along and enjoys one another’s company. They need to care about one another and want to work with one another to achieve a common goal. By investing in your employees you ensure they buy into your business vision. With boosted morale, you get the highest levels of productivity. When hiring employees, invite any potential candidates into the office and get them to do an in-tray exercise with current staff members. Watch how they work, see how they communicate and try to decipher their working ethos. If they can have a giggle and enjoy working in a team, they could be perfect for your company.
Hiring staff isn’t an easy process. However, if you secure a cohesive team, you reap the rewards. While you are a young startup, the remuneration package that you offer might not be as great as some of your more well-established industry rivals. However, with promises of professional development, opportunities for promotion and the chance to work for a company and be part of its growth, you can attract the brightest minds.
Tech-savvy employees are more productive from the get-go. Neal Taparia, who runs classic games and brain training app, Solitaired, explains,
We found that employees who are already familiar with collaboration tools like Google Apps and Slack are productive from the start. They can immediately start communicating and collaborating on projects related to our solitaire and memory games. We now require these skills in new hires.
Investing in your employees doesn’t always mean spending ridiculous amounts of money. Instead, invest your time and efforts to get to know your team pays dividends. Communicate effectively with your staff by being present. Don’t head into your office every morning and lock the door behind you. You need to get out on the proverbial shop floor and ask your team how things are going. Have a staff briefing every Monday morning to detail short-term goals for the week. Send out an email every Friday name-checking those individuals who have worked particularly hard or have gone above and beyond. A little bit of positive praise shows that you are recognizing your staff team’s efforts and hard work. By investing your time, you will get greater employee buy-in to your vision.
Set up away days and get out of the office once in a while. Although team-building exercises can be a little cringe-worthy, they can be worthwhile and allow your team to get to know one another on a more personal level. Without being suited and booted on site, people can become less reserved and more willing to open up. As an employer, you should be keeping your professional distance, but you should still know each team member by name.
It can be difficult morphing from employee to employer. However, if you follow this guide and invest in your staff team, your business will reap the rewards.
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