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Monday, 19 September 2016

Growing your employees: it makes business sense

Growing your employees: it makes business sense

Are you growing a small business and recruiting more and more people into new jobs?

And has it reached the point where you can see that if you’re to carry on being successful, the skillsets of your staff will have to change and develop too? Maybe you've reached the point where your better people are starting to lose their spark and stagnate, or perhaps you’ve received a resignation you really didn’t want, with lack of advancement given as the reason.

What to do when you run a small business with no budget for external courses or bonding team building experiences?

The good news is that opportunities are all around you to develop your people - you just need to look out for them in day-to-day work, and be creative and proactive about making them happen for the right person at the right time. Here are some ideas:

• Cross-training so that people can carry out parts of each other’s roles. This gives the business more flexibility and the  
  individuals greater understanding of the tasks their colleagues do.
• Workshops or lunchtime lectures where employees present on their areas of expertise to the rest of the team.
• A business issue such as a customer complaint needing a “fix-it” solution. This gives experience in analysing business problems,
  fact finding and practical problem solving.
• Representing the company at seminars and networking meetings.Self-managed networks where staff can discuss problems and
  share solutions.
• Responsibility for mentoring a new or inexperienced employee. This grows skills in learning how to coach, explain things and
   support people.
• Being in charge of a project where there’s likely to be a high degree of resistance or conflict. This provides practice in handling
  conflict, negotiating, influencing others and building support.
• Being in charge of a cost containment project with specific results expected. This gives exposure to commercial reality, the
  profit/cost balance and numerical analysis.
• Complete responsibility for managing a complex project from start to finish.
• A lateral move into a different job for a limited time, for example when someone resigns and there’s a vacancy.
• A project that requires dealing directly with your own boss. This provides wider exposure and experience working with senior
  executives. Webinars and other online learning directly relevant to the job.

Give some direction and structure, preparing the way to avoid misunderstandings. Monitor how things are going, keeping an eye open for difficulties and slip-ups, balancing your own responsibility for results with the need to allow the employee to develop through his/her own experience and build a sense of achievement.
Personal growth is about challenging employees daily, giving them opportunities to grow and learn, and this doesn’t necessarily mean expensive training courses; you can use internal expertise and experience and share this knowledge with others who want to learn.
Research shows clearly: among the most critical drivers for employees are training that enhances the work experience and improves long-term career prospects, and opportunities for advancement and greater responsibility. Where people don’t rate their job as good for their personal growth, they’re much more likely to leave if they can find another job. Helping your people with personal growth will not only make a difference in their lives, but will also bond them more closely to your business and increase their motivation and job satisfaction.

If you would like to explore ways of improving learning activity within your team, developing your coaching skills and building the expertise you will need as the business grows, contact The Human Resource on enquiries@thehr.co.uk.