No doubt, profitability should always be the focus of any successful organization. As we approach the halfway mark of the year, you are probably firmly aware of how much profit your business has already made and how well it is projected to do this year. Perhaps you work in a not-for-profit environment and your concern is increasing value to your clients instead of profitability.
At the end of the day, no matter what goals you set, you must never neglect to consider the importance of growing the human capital of your organization. These critical levers to business success stay largely the same regardless of the industry that you work in.
Recently, top areas of business focus for 2012 were identified by thousands of organizations that participated in a research study undertaken by the BC Human Resources Management Association. In order of most importance were:
- Increasing Leadership Capability - 31%
- Increasing Employee Engagement - 27%
- Attracting & Recruiting Staff - 26%
- Managing Change - 26%
- Planning for Staff Succession - 23%
- Managing Staff Performance - 23%
How many of these focuses do you relate with? If you do, here are some questions to consider about your next steps:
Increasing Leadership Capability
- How much more profit/client value would you experience if your leaders were freed up to lead and innovate in new ways? What impact would 10% more time have on the bottom line?
- What areas of your leaders' responsibility could they improve if they were given time and resources to retrain and retool? What would the impact be on the bottom line?
- What would the impact be on the bottom line if your key leaders stopped fighting with each other and actually learned to work well together?
Increasing Employee Engagement
- If your employees actually trusted each other, what sorts of dividends would that multiply into?
- What would productivity look like if your team actually enjoyed coming to work and what are you willing/not willing to do to provide that?
- If your best employee quit today saying that they found another job that was “more aligned with their passions,” how much monetarily would that cost your organization? What if your top 3 performers left in the next 12 months?
Attracting and Recruiting Staff
- What has your organization done recently that has brought it some good press? Is it an organization that people want to work in? What does it mean to your organization when the answer is “no”?
- What have you done for your employees recently that has them talking to their friends and family about how great of a workplace they belong to?
- What makes your organization attractive to potential new employees? Is it your fantastic compensation package, unique culture, or particular niche in your industry? If you have no answers, you are probably not attracting the cream of the crop that will help accelerate your growth into a new horizon.
- Measure the percentage of people in your team that is on board with all the changes that you are planning this year. What if I told you that you could make that much closer to 100%? How could you make that possible?
- Do your key leaders have input into determining the changes that are coming down the line? How would it transform your organization if they did?
- What changes have you left by the wayside because the topic was too emotionally charged? How much is that affecting the bottom line?
Planning for Staff Succession
- Do you currently have a clear plan for coverage when major illness happens or if someone were to go on a 3-week vacation? What happens to your productivity during those times?
- Have you identified up and coming leaders and begun a development plan for each of them? How much money will you save in efficiency and productivity if a smooth succession happens should someone choose to leave?
- Have you identified a key leader in your organization that you can entrust your business to when you need to unplug for a vacation or rest? How much longer can you do this before you burn out? What will that cost your organization?
Managing Staff Performance
- How much does it cost per month when your team misses a deadline? How does it affect the longevity of your client relationship?
- How much time is lost due to tardiness in your organization? Extrapolate that calculation towards labor lost over the whole year? Do you now feel greater urgency to address the issue?
- Perhaps you generally have a great team but you have one bad apple that drains the energy from the team and debilitates chemistry. What is the cost to the rest of the team when you don’t address the bad apple’s performance issue? Extend those calculations to the domino effect it has to your clients. How grave is the issue now?
Remember, the principle is that the more time we spend in preparation and planning, the less time we will spend fixing emergencies. Do the math, because it almost always makes good business sense to focus on any of these areas and you will ultimately reap the rewards as your business thrives and quality of life for your team improves. Ignore these issues at your risk and then prepare to go through the lengthy, and extremely costly process of rehiring, and retraining new people.
Imagine life where you no longer had to repeat these dreaded life cycles in your business and then think about how much more capacity YOU will have for work that is far more relevant for the growth of your organization.