You have a business, a plan for the future, unique stock/goods/services, and the future is probably looking rosy, but besides your customers, the key to a successful business model is your staff.
Staff are all too frequently seen as a consequential cost of doing business, but rather than staff being considered a lower priority, as frontline representatives of what you do, they should actually be front and centre of your success planning.
Your staff mix is generally existing, new, and future. Obviously, it is difficult to manage future staff, but how you manage your existing and new staff will lay the foundations on how your future staff are recruited, trained, and retained. How you treat existing and new staff largely dictates the “value add” that they can bring into your organisation.
Staff are frequently viewed as a resource. In a clinical business environment, you need to ensure that you have sufficient staff resources to achieve the tasks associated with your work. But unlike ensuring you have a working fridge to keep things cold, you cannot view staff as a piece of machinery. Staff are more than resources – the term Human Resources is, at best misleading, and at worst completely inaccurate.
I don’t want to get all new age on you, but a holistic approach to staff management will reap greater rewards to you and your bottom line than treating staff as a tool.
The above graph attempts to diagrammatically represent your business.
The TASK line indicates that as the business grows or changes, the tasks associated with this also change and (in this example) increase over time and in complexity.
The EXISTING NOT NURTURED, NEW DICTATED, and NEW NURTURED lines demonstrate staff’s capacity and capability to perform the required tasks. It’s not an Einstein moment to realise that nurturing your staff will increase their ability to perform their job better which, as a result, increase your profitability. Dictating to your staff will not instil staff to perform for the good of the business which eventually means that it will cost you money. This is not a complex equation to get your head around.
The levels of nurturing you implement will be different for each business model and will be different for each staff member. Like all things avoid the extremes. Do not nurture people that cannot offer you anything – it will be better for yourself and the staff if they were encouraged to look elsewhere. Instead nurture people that show potential and can ultimately help you on this business journey.
The flip side is that you dictate to staff. If you are a primary school teacher, this might be a good tactic. It is highly unlikely that you will be employing pre-pubescent staff so it is safe to assume that a dictatorial style will do nothing to create an environment that will allow staff to become motivated.
You might think that the staff sweet spot in the graph is where the task line and the staff motivation line intersect. If you think this then you would be wrong. The area you are aiming for is for staff hovering above the task line – and this only happens when you nurture your staff.
Dictate to them or ignore them whilst continuing to increase workloads will only result in your failure. You need to ask yourself if this is really a winning strategy.