Developing the Best Workforce for 2014 – Building and Growing your People

A business is only as good as the people that work in it. If it is your business strategy to grow this year – and that probably applies to most businesses – one of the key contributors to this will be to improve the performance of your people.

We all have the capacity to grow and many organisations have not invested in nurturing that capacity during the economic challenges of recent years. Now, with the economy recovering, is the time to uncover the hidden talents in your workforce and to harness those talents for the benefit of the both your business and the people who work in it.

So why develop your people? The most obvious benefit is that of improving individual and team performance to improve the overall business performance. This can then be directly translated into bottom line results. I am not just talking about increasing sales but improving efficiency in delivery, enhancing customer service to increase customer satisfaction and retention, developing management skills, IT skills and a whole variety of areas all to the benefit of the business.

Realising the potential in your people will:

• Motivate
• Engage staff
• Increases employee retention and reduce the cost of recruitment
• Help to attract great talent
• Improve performance

Ultimately your business will grow.

How can you identify areas for development? Focus here is important and the most effective way of identifying where to focus is by starting with your business strategy. What is your strategy, what are your goals and what do you need from your people to help you achieve this. Perhaps you are making some changes such as launching into a new market or introducing a new product or service. What new knowledge, skills or attitude do you need in the business?

A second way of identifying development needs is by starting with each individual employee and identifying their development needs through your appraisal or performance management process.

Lastly you might look at a team or business unit and identify any gaps in attitude, skills and knowledge across the team.

What if you have a limited budget for training? Developing people does not just involve organising some training. There are many ways in which people can learn. Here are a few ideas:

• Reading a book
• Observing a colleague
• Coaching
• Running a project
• Voluntary work
• Attending a seminar
• Joining a professional body
• Joining an on-line forum

Just remember the Chinese proverb “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand”.

If you would like some help in getting started, just give me a call or drop me an email. Invest some time and effort in developing your people this year, watch them grow and see the impact on your bottom-line.

“Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.”
~Mark Twain

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