By Jorge Hiram Garcia | May 12, 2012
There are four areas that a business owner can address that can help them build a better business by building better employees. These four areas of concern for your business and your employees are preparation, rewards, benefits and productivity. By addressing these four areas, you can build a stronger business by helping you help those that help you.
The goal of implementing solutions to address these four areas of concern will help you as the business owner to manage you business more effectively. They will help you eliminate the need for micromanaging employees by empowering them to succeed by helping you succeed. Along with eliminating the need to closely manage you employees, other difficult topics such as annual employee reviews and employee generational issues will be lessened or eliminated altogether.
If you have ever asked yourself the following:
“Why aren’t we marketing more, growing faster, what we can do to bring in more business?”
“I don’t get enough time off and I need to make more money. What can I do?”
The solution is to create an environment where employees are prepared, equipped and enabled to help their firms succeed. In other words, help your employees help you.
Preparation: The first and hardest principle to implement is preparation. To create happy successful employees, business owners need to first prepare themselves to support the success of their employees, and then prepare their employees to be successful. There are a series of steps the business owner can undertake in order to implement this first part. The first step is creating a way of thinking on the part of the owner that focuses on building a successful business. The second step is designing a culture that fuels passion, purpose, growth and happiness. It’s about sending a clear message to the employees that their job is important, and that their firm and its owner stands behind them. The third step is about giving employees the basic knowledge and skills to excel within that culture: how to communicate, to ask questions, to learn to do their jobs their way, to fuel personal happiness and to know what the goals of the firm are. Creating a system that the business owner and employees can follow that encompasses these three steps can help create an environment in which success brings success for the business owner, the business and the employees.
Reward: The single most powerful employee motivator is to tie a portion of their compensation to the success of the business. The best way to do this is through revenue-based incentives (which are easy to calculate, easy to understand and eliminate the profit-sharing issues surrounding legitimate costs in small businesses). Compensation rewards that increase as a business grows create a sense of ownership (in lieu of actual ownership) that is essential to maximizing employee contributions to a business’ long-term success.
Benefits: There are a lot of benefits that employers offer to employees, from medical benefits to retirement benefits to lifestyle benefits. Which benefits really motivate employees? Employers must offer medical and retirement benefits, but more importantly, creating a flexible work environment is a good motivator. Plus, it can be tailored to each employee’s needs and optimal work habits without disrupting the firm’s goals.
Productivity: There is probably no stronger message that a business can send to its employees than the quality of the tools it provides to get their jobs done. Today, that means cutting-edge technology and training to use more of that technology’s functionality. Obsolete or barely functional technology tells employees their job is not important and their time is not valued. It also tells them the business owner does not care about his or her business, and doesn’t care to be up-to-date with what’s going on in his or her industry.
Once the systems that address these principles are in place, most businesses virtually run themselves, with employees managing themselves and each other. Business owners must make a mental shift from trying to manage their business to supporting their employees to be as good as they can possibly be. It’s not about recruiting great employees. A business owner can make problem employees out of great ones every time. Likewise, a business owner that implements a system as described in this article can turn problem employees into successful employees, and create a successful business in turn.
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