Pay Attention to Your Most Valuable Resource
Business resources are the human, financial, physical, and knowledge factors that provide the means to perform business processes. People are the critical cog in the wheel. People who can understand, synthesize and effectively apply information. People with all the knowledge and skills they need, both task skills and people skills. How are you managing your most valuable resource? When you ensure that your people have the right tools, job training, and equipment, do you include people skills?
Imagine your business without skilled people. It’s like a thumb-less hand. (Go ahead- try opening a door.) Consider conducting a “people skills” internal audit. Where are your deficiencies? What steps do you need to take to improve them? What people skills does your team lack that, if improved, would have the most impact on your bottom line?
- Management and Supervisory Skills: How well do your supervisors manage their time? Prioritize time for goals? Effectively delegate? Do they have coaching skills- the know-how to assess job skill development needs, arrange for training, provide practice and reinforcement? How do they hold people accountable? Can they provide effective feedback? Handle difficult conversations?
- Customer Relationship Management: What customer service and relationship-building skills do you expect customer contact employees to use? Are they using them? How are you measuring effectiveness? How does your back office staff provide internal customer service support?
- Leadership Skills: Does your management staff lead as well as manage? Do they know the difference, and possess the necessary skills? How well do they inspire and lead change? Recognize and understand different work styles and how to best use different talents?
- Communication Skills: How well do your employees communicate with each other to achieve common goals?
- Change Management: How does your staff view change? How do you incorporate new values and attitudes into your culture? How are you addressing succession planning? How do you communicate with and support people during change?
Investing in your employees has a measureable impact on your bottom line. Organizations that make large investments in people typically have lower employee turnover, which is associated with higher customer satisfaction, which in turn is a driver of profitability A four-year study by the American Society of Training and Development shows that companies that invest $1,500 per employee in training, compared with those that spend just $125 per employee, experience on average 24% higher gross profit margins and 218% higher income per employee.
Developing the people skills of your most valuable resource is a smart business decision.