You may have red-hot products and an eager customer base, but unless your people are working together as an effective team, your company is unlikely to fulfil its potential. Getting the most out of staff is partly a matter of leadership, but in all except the smallest companies it also essential to have a people or workforce strategy in place. This guide introduces you to how to do that by looking at the strategy's three key stages of development:
The key to effective people management is understanding the requirements of your organisation - that means knowing many employees you will need and what skills and experience are required to deliver your company's goals. Equally important is recognising how efficiently your current team is working, or any problems that are hampering progress. Taking a strategic view of staffing issues can be challenging, but it's not something that you have to do on your own. Investors in People and management consultancies can help.
Ultimately, you want to create a more motivated and efficient workforce whilst keeping the turnover of key staff to a minimum, but defining more specifically what performance means in terms of both the company and the individual helps you focus on how to achieve your goals. Figure out a metric to measure performance - particularly if it's to be linked to pay. Good ways to incentivise staff include performance-related bonuses, pro-active approaches to training, mentoring, the introduction of appraisal systems, plus less formalised measures such as team-building days and even free tea, coffee and toast. A good IT support system never goes astray either.
As with the retention and motivation of existing staff, finding the best people for your business may in large part come down to competitive salaries, company benefits and opportunities for advancement. But it's also worth remembering that the way your business presents itself is important. If you wish to attract self-starting, entrepreneurial and creative members of staff, that's the image that your company should present - both in advertisements and at the interview stage.
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