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Saturday, January 5, 2008

People Are Our Greatest Wealth - 10 ways to make the most of your treasure

I believe that the work force of any organization represent their true wealth for without them the organization is going nowhere. If you are the owner or Managing Director of any organization you will know what the assets of your company are worth.



Your Financial Directors and accountants will no doubt provide you with balance sheets of your net worth, those assets which are depreciating and those investments which are growing in value. What value do you put on your staff? For many organizations the monthly staffing bill is the major expense of the organization and yet they appear to undervalue the amazing resource they have at their disposal.



The collective intelligence, skills, expertise, energy and enthusiasm of your staff is so much bigger than the sum of the individual parts. Optimising the potential of your staff can lead to a competitive edge and a more settled contented workforce it is well worth the investment in time and money.



Ten ways to ensure you maximise the staffing treasure you have at your disposal:



1) Have a clear strategic vision which is shared by everyone It is particularly important in times of change or difficulty. Uncertainty and lack of clarity creates huge amounts of stress for the majority of people. Having a shared strategic vision enables all staff to understand what the organisation wants to achieve. It works like a light house in stormy waters.



2) Create effective systems of communication which work at every level within the organization. This is vital as the “Chinese whispers” and “Rumour” style of leadership are ineffective and divisive. Involve staff in creating a system of communication which works for everyone.



3) Ensure your decision making process has integrity Where people have faith that decisions have been made for the right reasons they are much more likely to accept them willingly. There are still too many managers who opt for the easiest decision rather than the right one or they base their decision on the last person they spoke to.



4) Create a culture where everyone feels their ideas are welcomed and valued Encouraging everyone to do their best is good business. Giving credit for the contribution that they make is a great way of achieving a culture of contribution.



5) Have high and explicit expectations of yourself and your staff. These should be set out from the outset and provide the measure of performance. Where people are doing well ensure that this is noticed and that staff are made aware that their efforts are valued. Where people are found wanting they should be given constructive feedback and training if necessary. The “hard conversations” should take place in a professional and supportive way.



6) Encourage your staff to be solution finders rather than problem givers This has a number of incredibly positive spin offs. You minimise the role of the “victim”, and encourage everyone to take responsibility for their contribution, it shares the work load and encourages a positive approach to the future.



7) Train everyone in good team behaviour Leaders and managers should model the behaviour they want to encourage. The role of “ego” should be minimised and people encouraged to listen actively and contribute willingly.



8) Create a reward system which encourages collaboration and co-operation rather than competition Encouraging staff to see each other as competition rather than as a useful resource may have short term benefits but in the end encouraging everyone to engage the customer or client to provide the best possible service will protect your future market and enable you to grow consistently. 9) Look for ways to grow and retain your staff. The cost of recruiting Middle and Senior Managers is extremely high. Ongoing professional development leading to promotion will act as an incentive to improve performance and facilitate effective delegation and succession planning. Of course there will be times when you need fresh blood into the organization, then your track record for ongoing training and treating your staff well will become a great encouragement for others to join you. 10) Never take “good will” for granted. Staff will give their time and energy willingly when they feel that their efforts are appreciated and valued. Take them for granted and they quickly become resentful and start to think “Why should I bother?” A simple thank you for a task well done goes a long way but be aware the simply going through the motions of showing appreciation has the potential to do harm to relationships.



http://www.graduatesolutions.co.uk/

http://www.recoveringworkaholics.com/


About The Author
Gina Gardiner is one of the UK's leading leadership coaches. She specializes in developing leadership potential from emergent to senior management level. She has a particular interest in work life balance.

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