In order to succeed in today’s business you need to either hire or develop home-grown top talent. It is simple. You are only as good as your weakest link. Attracting top executives is often difficult and extremely costly, especially if you are competing against large companies with deep pockets. However, if you have good raw employees, with a bit of work, they can achieve greater things than you could ever imagine.
Also, keep in mind that even though rich companies can pay high salaries to hire the best employees, they spend a large amount of money training, retraining and developing employees. Some firms call it Orientation, or On-Boarding. Sometimes they have annual retreats or even a giant customer facing show. These shows (such as the ones by Microsoft and Apple) are customer facing, but they serve the staff as well to gain buy in to the corporate message.
The bottom line is that talent must be developed. Even someone with the raw skills and abilities must be brought along and taught new things, so they can adapt to changes and can help drive corporate growth, identify and fix problems and solidify the base of your company.
Every year or more often, have employees assess their own growth, successes, weaknesses and strengths. Have them set goals for themselves for self improvement. This is easy. Often they can be tougher on themselves than you can be. If you see something in the self assessment process that you may be able to help them with, then you are already well on your way to developing your staff.
If you see a trend or an opportunity for improvement for a person or a group of employees consider buying or sending them to a course, hire a guest speaker, get an individual coach, or pick up a few of the best books on the topic and hand them out as suggested reading. In today’s environment you could buy a couple inexpensive iPad mini’s and download helpful Kindle books on it and hand out the mini’s as a checkout system.
Set Business Goals
People follow leaders. They want to be lead. You need to be the example for others to follow. By setting goals and adhering to them yourself you become a great example for others.
Praise Successful Employees and Thank Them
The more thankful you are the more gratitude people will show you. People like politeness, but gratitude goes alot further. When you thank them for their good work on project X it goes alot further than having a critiquefest. Everyone knows they could have done better. But don’t dismiss the fact that they put effort in to accomplish what has already been accomplished. Look for ways to help them come up with their own ideas and decisions to make self-criticism and improvements. When it comes from within, true transformation can happen. If you don’t have time for this kind of encouragement hire someone that can help drive this transformation.
Meet With Staff and Involve Them in Decisions
Leadership isn’t a trickle-down science. It is a Ground-Up movement. Yes, you can set direction, but you want the troops to have the momentum to drive your goals to completion. Get input. Get the right people on board. Internal commitment can lead a project to success. Buy-in is the single biggest driver to successful outcomes. You just need enough buy in to win the day. When a plan starts to show signs of success, more buy in will happen and skills will develop naturally to fill the void. Every company has gaps in skills. However, quality employees are not static entities. They are not one-trick ponies. They are multifaceted and multi-talented. Often it takes one good decision, one project, one movement to uncover hidden and latent talents that will come to the surface only when called upon, or when the situation requires it. Part of development is putting people in situations they can excel in.