Bert Sadtler - President
Isn’t it an interesting phenomenon that what got a business off the ground requires a 180 degree shift once the business has achieved critical mass?
Picture this: your business has matured to being recognized as a functioning, operating, successful business. Growth is just as important as it ever has been. Growth now requires more than what the business owner can contribute alone. Growth requires the business owner to “let go” of some of the control and have the right talent to delegate to key members of the business. Delegation is key.
Some say it’s like “Having the right people sitting in the right seats on the bus”. If it were only that simple. For example, how do you even know that you have the right people on the bus in the first place?
With the morphing into a business leadership direction comes the necessary need for structure. Has the business developed and implemented a structured approach for the development of its valued talent and for a developing path for growth?
Five ways to focus your business for growth:
1) Are you and your team currently aligned to address your highest priority business challenge?
– Alignment of staff is critical to optimizing the performance of a business.
– Alignment can indicate continuity and consistency – everyone needs to be pulling the business’s oars in the same direction and in lockstep
– This question also addresses the need for the business to define the highest priority challenge: “What is keeping you up at night?” Define the biggest challenge before you can address it and then resolve it.
2) Do you know what motivates your employees?
– Let’s not lose sight of the importance of people in your business. Regardless of what the business does, people are needed for the business to be successful.
– Understand and appreciate that everyone is different and a diverse workforce can be an accelerant for growth
– Real leaders are able to recognize that everyone performs at a different level and people are motivated by different goals.
– In order to maximize performance and drive growth, shouldn’t you invest the time in finding out what is motivating the individuals who report to you?
3) Are you measuring your business’s performance?
– As the adage goes “the devil is in the details” and today analytics have come a long way to help business leaders understand more about business performance and success metrics.
– With today’s fast-moving and dynamic marketplace, shouldn’t company goals and objectives be measured in a shorter period than the financial year? Why not try 3-6 months instead of 12?
– If the business leadership can define the 12 month goals and then parse them into smaller chunks, measuring business performance becomes frequent. With the ability to obtain a performance status snapshot, adjustments can be implemented to insure a successful path forward for ideal performance.
– “Adjustments” equate to “business agility”. Today, businesses must be more agile than ever to adapt to changes in the marketplace and with their competition
4) Are your employees measuring their performance?
– Once the leadership has implemented a structured approach to measuring performance, then the employees can measure their own performance. Enabling your workforce to “own” their responsibilities can go a long way to improved engagement and productivity.
– Ideally, every employee is assigned individual goals and objectives that collectively grow the business.
– With an individual approach, the over-performers are easy to notice and reward, while the under-performers quickly appear in plain sight, proving an opportunity to possibly a problem before it becomes one.
– The simple assignment of individual goals and measurement of them provides employees with “immediate gratification” when exception work is performed and an opportunity for improvement when goals are not met.
5) Can you “allow” employees to leave?
– There was a time when employees retired from the same company after a 20-30 year career. That was then, this is now. Employees seek growth and change as well as companies. Prepare for change by having a plan.
– Recognize that employees have an average of 3-5 years per job today and plan accordingly when you can.
– Inevitably, your employees will make a change. If you restrict them, they can turn into your business’s “enemy for life”. If you can support their change, they could be a great asset as an employee for a partnering business.
– Remember, the business culture that “let’s an employee leave” is likely to grow by giving away control in order to gain more.
– Regardless of what business you are running, your success depends on the “right talent in place”, the ability to motivate your talent on an individual basis, a structure to measure performance and most importantly, the ability for leadership to “give away control” in order to gain growth.
There are many cases of employees who have brought their employer significant value when the employee was offered more opportunity. One example is for the employee to be accountable for the completion of responsibilities while also having some autonomy. This setting has proven to develop successful leaders/managers.
A second example is developing a corporate culture for employees to leave your employment. “Business divorce” has become a normal course of business today. Is your business going to “hold-onto” an employee knowing that they are needed but the employee could also be more valuable in a more advanced role with a different employer? Holding onto an employee may offer your business with a temporary advantage. In the long run, your business should have a structured succession program and expect that the best talent will be recruited away. You can’t keep everyone. Having them working for your business partners or for companies who your business would like to work with, could prove valuable.
Back to our point….are you ready to give away control in order to grow your business?