Employees as Tools for Business Sustainability
Every business wishes to survive and be sustainable in the long run. However, are these businesses ready to do all it would entail to ensure their company's survival?
Can businesses be sustained through their employees?
My experience as an HR consultant allowed me to work primarily with micro, small, and medium businesses. The Enterprise Development Centre, the entrepreneur arm of the Pan-Atlantic University in my home country Nigeria usually engages in a program called 'Expert in Residence (EIR). It is where an expert sits with entrepreneurs and discusses several issues in their business. Together they proffer solutions to the business's problems and how to solve them. I was one of the HR consultants who listened to the people's issues of the entrepreneurs, and we came up with solutions to the 'people issues.'
I write this blog from the experiences garnered from working with entrepreneurs and consulting for entrepreneurs from different industries such as agriculture, real estate/construction, beauty and fashion, oil and gas, healthcare, information, and communications technology among others.
People, operational infrastructure, decision-making, and leadership are vital for a sustainable long-term growth solution. But, in this article, I will dwell more on the people's side.
A business owner once said, "Leaders should not trust their employees because they always disappoint and do not take the owner's business as their own. What they usually care about is their salary." Do you agree with this submission?
It is proven theoretically and in practice that one of the significant reasons wherein businesses succeed is because they care and invest in their employees. Now ask yourself: do you care and invest in your employees? What percentage would you rate yourself?
Sustainable Growth Approach Elements of Businesses towards their Employees.
I list several elements businesses should imbibe when dealing with their employees. (RPGTBC)
Recruit and Select Right:
- Get the right employee into your organization by recruiting and selecting for behavior and training for skills.
- Do not bring in someone that would make your organization toxic because the person has the requisite skill.
- Put the right people in the proper role: square pegs in square holes.
Growth Path: Employees want to believe they can and will grow in your organization. Your structure may not permit them to grow hierarchically, but they can expand horizontally. So, no matter how small your organization is, intentionally create a growth path for your employees.
Train your Employees: Bad things happen if you do not train your employees. Train them to gain the skills needed to achieve your goals.
Be Flexible: Flexibility is a sign of strength, while Rigidity is a sign of weakness. Organizations should understand that their policies should be flexible and not cast in stone. Give room for tweaking.
Create a Conducive Environment: Plants flourish in a land that is fertile and dies in an arid land. Just like plants, human beings are at their best in an environment that is enabling and not toxic. "Is your organization a fertile land or an arid land?"
To sum up
As you put in place these elements in your organization, rest assured (thank me later) that you will see your business grow in the short, medium, and long term.