Employees are our greatest asset

How can we take care of our employees, so they take care of our business?  This article explores the impact of technology and leadership and how business coaching can support employees.  Business Coaching not only develops employees, but it contributes to a more motivated, fulfilled and engaged workforce.  If you’d like to learn more about business coaching, click here or if you want to learn more about how to find a Business Coach London, click here.

Richard Branson, The Virgin Group, wrote on his LinkedIn; “Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business.  It’s as simple as that.”.  By coaching and developing employees, they feel valued.  In turn, this increases motivation and productivity, which means employees are more likely to take care of your business.  To learn more about why it’s important to make your employees and potential candidates happy, click here for an article by Forbes.

In this modern, fast-paced culture we live and work in, we are expected to do more with less.  Often, this is at odds with valuing and nurturing people.  Furthermore, with digital transformation and an abundance of apps and social media tools, are we losing touch with what matters most?

The Impact of Technology

Technology has facilitated automation in the workplace and streamlined manual processes.  It continues to pave the way and helps businesses, including startups to improve efficiency and optimise processes.   A good example is the manufacturing industry, where technology and Lean manufacturing processes has automated manual processes, increased production and reduced costs.  Can the same be said for other industries and business sectors?

In trying to keep up, businesses prioritise technology and digital transformation.  Is this detrimental to staff-wellbeing?  Are employees spending too much time learning new technologies?  As a result, do employees create business process workarounds because of technology shortfalls?  Do employers seek sufficient and timely feedback?  Are employers demonstrating that they’ve listened?  Are customer and end-user needs being satisfied and in an efficient and cost-effective way?

Whilst there are clear advantages and noticeable benefits to technology and digital transformation, let’s not forget our greatest asset.  Employees perform the day-to-day tasks and operate & manage business processes.  They use the technology and systems that business leaders implement and they collaborate with suppliers and clients to sell products and services.

With digital transformation and a reliance on technology, has business become too process-oriented?  Have we lost the ability to communicate effectively and efficiently?  What impact has this had on customer service?  For example, with the rapid growth in social media and review websites like Trust Pilot, Google My Business etc., it is much easier to read and find out about customer service.  With this increased visibility and focus on customer service, we hear about convoluted businesses processes, automated call systems that create frustration, less human interaction, outsourced functions, robotic responses and a sudden transition from; ‘the customer is always right’.  If this is the new customer service experience, what does this mean for employees?

Lead by example – Indirect Business Coaching

To truly take care of our employees, we need to lead by example.  If we lead by example, employers provide an indirect form of business coaching and mentoring.  It’s about being honest, open and encouraging two-way communication.  A good leader collaborates and seeks feedback.  They also actively listen and demonstrate that they’ve listened by following up.  More importantly, this needs to be done timely.

Employees need to know they have the forum to provide feedback.  They also need to be able to discuss ideas and propose solutions to problems and challenges.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that every single idea or piece of feedback needs to be implemented.  It’s about acknowledging and rewarding good ideas.  Employers need to remember and, in some cases, realise the reasons for hiring people.  i.e. their skills, experience, abilities, differing views, ideas and opinions, which challenge and create change for the better.

If you only hire ‘yes’ employees or refuse to listen and utilise the experience and skills you’ve hired, do you think you will have a motivated and productive workforce?  What impact could this have on staff retention?  Whilst pay is a consideration, since there are bills to pay and a life to live, it isn’t just about a monthly pay cheque.  It’s vital that we listen and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of what our employees have to say.  Like our customers, our employees are our experts.  When we take care of them, they will take care of our business.  After all, that’s why we hired them, right?

Training & Development and Business Coaching

Through training & development and business coaching, employees become more productive, feel valued, nurtured and motivated.  As business owners, leaders, managers, senior executives, keep an ear to the ground.  Lead by example and you will coach and develop your employees.  Listen to the voice of your employees (and customers).  Ignore either or both at your peril.  They are of equal importance.  If you want your employees to take care of your business, it is imperative that you listen and take action.

If you ask employees what they think about their jobs, technology and processes, you give them an opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas.  By doing so, they feel valued and you could gain valuable insight into what’s working well and what needs your attention.

When employees feel heard, see visible signs that you’ve listened, you demonstrate that you walk the talk.  If you hear what your employees think and feel, you can take timely remedial action(s).  Then, you help take care of your employees and the people you’ve hired for a reason.

Do you want to lose good performers to the competition?  What would be the cost impact to the business if you let that happen?  As a business owner, leader and/or manager, we can provide business coaching to employees during 1-2-1 meetings.  i.e. provide regular feedback, with improvement plans also built into 360 performance evaluation processes and personal development goal setting.  It is important for development, improvement and growth as much as it is to develop employees through structured training programmes, one-off courses and formal business coaching sessions.

Develop, Improve, Grow and Succeed through Business Coaching

Maximum Solutions Consulting Ltd provides business coaching and business advice, which helps start-ups, business owners, managers and employees to develop, improve, grow and succeed.

If you would like to take better care of your employees, so they take better care of your business, Maximum Solutions Consulting Ltd can help:

  • Facilitate effective communication
  • Foster and embed collaboration
  • Implement process changes, which focus on well-being and good mental health
  • Coach individuals, which changes negative thinking, procrastination and unhelpful beliefs

“Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business.”