A number of prominent business people and leaders in the business world have spoken about the importance of employees to a company’s success and growth.
In my experience as a business mentor however I’ve come to realise that not many business owners truly understand the value of a good employee and what a strong team can do for their business. And I know from experience that dedicated and passionate staff who work well together can catapult you to the stars. And vice versa. If your employees are not committed, not passionate and mediocre in their work, your business will inevitably suffer.
Your employees essentially represent your company and thus the perception of customers about your business is very much based on their interaction with your staff. In other words, your business is as good as your employees are in the eyes of your customers.
At the same time, employees take work and responsibility off your hands. By hiring them you hand them over parts of your business, whether it is sales, finance, or marketing. This means that you need to be able to trust them to a great extent, after all, this is the business you’ve spent so much time and energy building!
In larger organisations where many employees have been hired throughout the years, getting another employee on board is a routine exercise. With small businesses it’s different, we’ve all been there. When you are starting off as an entrepreneur you know how stressful it is to get an outsider in and trust them with your business.
Regardless of the size of an organisation, my experience in businesses of all sizes and across various industries have taught me that there are certain qualities in an employee which are crucial if you want to build a team that will keep you moving forward.
Before you ask for degrees and credentials try and make sure first that the employee you are looking to hire is:
An employee may be well-prepared academically, experienced and knowledgeable of your industry but if they have no passion for what you do, then all that is no good. Knowledge and skills can be gained but passion is not something you can teach people. And passion is what drives any business forward as well as any industry at large. If you are headed for the stars you need people to share your enthusiasm and support you in your endeavors. This is why, your first job when interviewing somebody is to figure out how passionate they would be about the job.
When people are vested in what they do they are willing to make improvements in your business. Some of the best system and process enhancements and even innovations within organisations often come from employees. That is why you want somebody who would come up with solutions to weaknesses and gaps in your business rather than adopt a victim mentality, complain and justify their bad performance with such issues. At the same time, it is much healthier when solutions and approaches come from the staff rather than top-down. It is much easier for everybody to embrace them first of all, and secondly it solidifies people’s commitment to your business when employees see that their ideas and contribution matter.
Fits into your company culture
Every company has a certain corporate culture. A joint demeanour, attitude, outlook on the world and way of doing things. Whether you realise it or not, and whether you’ve worked towards building it or not, your organisation does have a specific culture too. A corporate culture is what makes your business what it is in the eyes of your customers and all stakeholders for that matter. It unites you. When a new employee comes into your company regardless of how talented and skilful, if their personality clashes with the corporate culture in your organisation, that normally creates unnecessary tension. And let’s face it – it won’t last for long.
Not afraid to experiment
Truly valuable employees are the ones that know their worth, in other words what they are capable of doing. And because they have that confidence they are able to make decisions when needed and think on their feet. But also, they are able to take calculated risks, take responsibility for their mistakes and admit failure. Not everybody has the personal qualities to do that and genuinely speaking many people prefer to stick with the well-established norms and tested approaches and solutions. However, a star employee knows that failure is part of success and they are not afraid to get out of their comfort zone even at the risk of failing in the end.
Author and marketing guru Simon Sinek says:
Customers will never love your company until your employees love it first.
Based on my experience I firmly believe that this is true. This being said, if you are looking for people that have the above qualities, make sure you also provide the environment for them to unleash their potential. If you micromanage and don’t support your people when they make mistakes, you won’t build a team to support your growth. You will build a team of employees to depend on you for every move they make, afraid to ask questions and make changes and ultimately a team that won’t bring any improvements to your business.
If you have any questions or if you’d like some help and to discuss how you can strengthen your business and incorporate strategies to make it grow in an organic and sustainable way , you are welcome to contact me. You can get in touch with me, Paul Davis, here.