Getting the most from your workforce


The bigger your business becomes, the more you rely on your staff to help drive you forward.

A 2012 Forbes article rightly states that every famous entrepreneur only succeeds when they have “great employees by their side”.

But as we discuss in another recent article, 71 per cent of SMEs report that absenteeism greatly impacts profits.

For this reason and many others, you must think long and hard about ways to get the best from your staff…

Recruit for the future

Before you start hiring new employees, it’s a good idea to think in terms of your long-term goals, as opposed to immediate, short-term needs. Think about the both the skills your business will need in the future, as well as right now. When recruiting for junior positions, look for candidates who have the potential to grow, and your business will flourish as they do.

Hire employees who share your values

Beyond just having the skills your business needs, staff also need the right attitude. This is especially important in a small business, as hiring the wrong person will have a very obvious effect on productivity and even other staff. Choose applicants who have shown a willingness to work hard and take responsibility in previous employment.

Promote teamwork

The saying goes that “there’s no ‘I’ in team” and this very true. A great team understands the strengths of each of its members. It develops systems that allow it to work like a well-oiled machine to complete tasks and promote business success.

Yet as stated on the Applied Acumen website, building a great team is all about understanding people. The best teams are also flexible and can adapt to different employee’s needs, and their members support each other as different challenges appear. Many teams don’t work as well as they should due to a lack of direction. This is why many businesses hire the likes of Applied Acumen for an objective view and expert solution.

Know the power of employee feedback

Another vital step in getting the best from your staff is to ask them for feedback. Taking on board criticisms through employee surveys and one-to-one communication helps you understand how to improve your workplace practices. You can use this initial feedback as a benchmark to measure improvement with different surveys over time.

These strategies also help to show your staff that you care about what they think and that their needs matter, which in turn is vital for staff morale and indeed productivity.

Offer workplace education

It’s a simple fact in any business that staff who receive the right training become better at their jobs. It should also help build their confidence (not to mention your own) in their ability to perform the job at hand. This confidence could propel them to perform even better and think of new ways to help propel your company onwards. This also fosters loyalty and makes it more likely that you’ll be able to retain your best employees.

Continuous training also keeps your staff abreast of new industry developments. This in turn makes your company better able to adapt to changes in methods, regulations, technology and more.