When I decided that it was time to move my business from my side hustle to my full time gig, the first thing I did, was to up-skill. I invested in my development and achieved Chartered status for the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development). It was a way to ensure that I had the paperwork to support my skills, I knew that I could do it, but I wanted to be able to prove it.
The other thing I did was sign up with a business start-up service and attended all of their courses to make sure I learnt the basics of running a business. All of this played into my business plan, helping me to do my research and set the business goals.
Now, we all know that our business plan is a live document, we have to constantly review and update it to keep up with the needs of our clients and stay ahead of the competition. This means learning new skills, developing our offerings and making strategic partnerships, so that you can scale and grow your business.
It’s important to know where you want your businesses to be in the next year to three years, so that you can put a plan in place to be prepared for the increased clients and the changing landscape.
To do this effectively, you need to know what skills you currently have within your organisation, the skills you would need to execute your plan for world domination and then see where any skills gaps would be. You can then look at adding to the skill-sets of your team and yourself to make sure that you are ready.
You may also consider recruiting new staff to help give you capacity. For example, I plan to recruit an apprentice in the autumn, I’m excited about mentoring and developing an individual to become an effective HR Professional, but I’m also excited about building the capacity within my team, so that I can take on more clients and take a break, knowing my business baby is in safe hands.
Developing staff has always been a challenge for small business owners. We are typically small and lean and so can often need to develop staff while keeping them doing what they do best. Then there can also be a fear that staff that have been developed may take their new shiny skills and go and work for someone else.
However, studies show that staff who feel appreciated and invested into, stay with an employer longer.
“employees who are ‘engaged and thriving’ at 59% less likely to look for a job with a different organisation in the next 12 months”
So what are you doing to develop your team? To keep them 'engaged and thriving'? It doesn’t have to be a traditional classroom based course, take them out of your office for days at a time or cost a fortune.
When I first started studying HR we used ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ to discuss motivations for individuals, if you’ve never seen it before, check out the image below. The theory is that there is a set of basic, psychological and self-fulfilment needs, for each individual and that you need to start with the basics as a foundation and then add the other elements.
It’s a good argument for why a good salary and benefits package isn’t enough to retain your staff, but also why fulfilling work is the key.
For the rest of the month I’ll be looking at how we can build our teams, increasing their capability, motivation and happiness.
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below and we will try to address them this month.