Updated: Jun 28
If you are a hiring manager or a business owner, you probably know the importance of investing in your employees. After all, they are the ones who make your company run and grow. But how do you make sound investment decisions around employees? Employing a long-term strategy around developing your employees is the best way to ensure you have the workforce you need to achieve your company goals.
Invest in Employees for the long-term
One way to think about it is to imagine that your employees were stocks in your retirement plan. How would you behave differently if you treated your employees like company stocks? If you treated your employees like stock, you would likely.
1. Do research before investing. Before you hire someone, you should do some background research on their skills, experience, personality, and goals. You should understand who they are as an individual, what their goals are, and whether they are a good fit for the role and your organization. Hiring an employee that is not a good fit for your organization is bad for you, and it is bad for the employee. The employee is harmed because they are robbed of the opportunity of finding another job where they can excel, and you will waste time trying to get a square peg into a round hole.
2. Make consistent incremental investments over time. Once you hire someone, you should continually invest in them. You do this by providing them with regular feedback, coaching, training, and recognition. This will allow them to grow their skills, confidence, and competency. This will enable them to provide more value to your organization. Helping employees develop, showing appreciation, and providing advancement opportunities will motivate them to do their best.
3. Monitor progress. Just as you would monitor the performance of your stocks, you should also monitor the performance of your employees. You can do this by setting clear and realistic goals and expectations for them and measuring their progress regularly. These goals should be known to the employee, and you should have a cadence for meeting with them to discuss performance and plans for improvement. This will help you celebrate wins, identify issues or problems early and collaborate on solutions.
4. Take a balanced portfolio approach. When you invest in stocks, it’s a best practice to diversify your portfolio. The same should be done with your team. Building a team with a mix of people with deep industry experience and individuals new to the industry can help you balance risk and manage labor costs. It would be best to seek a diversity of race, gender, and other variables to help you have a well-rounded team of professionals. Diversity brings strength because it protects you from groupthink and other biases that tend to come from a homogeneous workforce.
5. Divest employees that are not helping you achieve your goal. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, some stocks might not perform well or meet your expectations. They might lose value or become irrelevant or obsolete. In such cases, you might need to sell or replace them with better ones. Likewise, sometimes, despite your best efforts, some employees might not perform well or meet your expectations. When this occurs, it is essential to consider the opportunity cost of continuing to employ someone who cannot deliver what you need. Plans should be made to help the employee move into a role or a company where they can be successful.
Employees are more valuable than stock
Of course, this analogy is not perfect and has its limitations. People are not stocks; they are humans with feelings, dreams, and emotions. They are not commodities that can be bought and sold at will; but individuals that deserve respect and dignity. As you work with employees, it is best to be candid about expectations and seek mutually beneficial relationships.
Employees who do not meet expectations frequently carry stress and anxiety, leading to low self-esteem, poor job performance, and health issues. Helping employees identify when a role is not a good fit for them and identifying another role or opportunity where their value can shine will help them and your company. Great companies help employees build great careers, whether within the organization or not.
You should pay attention to your employees’ needs, preferences, and aspirations. In addition, you should listen to their feedback, suggestions, and complaints. The more you can empathize with their struggles, frustrations, and fears, the better guidance you will be able to provide them on building skills, developing themselves, and pursuing opportunities that will grow their productivity and your bottom line.
In short, you should treat your employees in a way that they feel valued and respected as humans while simultaneously focusing on how you can help them and your company achieve its goals.
This blog post explains why investing in building relationships with employees is crucial for hiring managers and business owners. It suggests imagining that your employees were stocks in your retirement plan and considering how your behaviors would change if your retirement were based on their success. It encourages hiring managers and business owners to invest more time into people development, providing quality feedback, and helping employees to grow. In addition, it encourages managers to remember that this is only an analogy. Employees are not stock but humans with feelings, dreams, and emotions that should be considered when making decisions around upgrading talent or divesting roles.
Thank you for reading this blog
Dorian Cunion is an Executive Coach and Business Consultant with Your Path Coaching and Consulting. He is a former retail executive with over 20 years of experience in the retail industry. He is a Co-Active coach who focuses on helping professionals, and small business owners overcome insecurities, knowledge gaps, and lack of direction. He does this by assisting clients to tap into their values, recognize their strengths, and develop actionable strategies for growth.
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