If strategy is the art of planning in order to achieve an overall goal then in business any strategy needs to incorporate employee planning if it is to succeed.
The main objective for any business is to make money. Go further than that and a business should be aiming to maximize its profit potential, but getting to that point means having a workforce that is as productive as possible. A productive workforce is a motivated and happy workforce; however, motivation and productivity, not to mention contentment or happiness, do not occur in isolation and a critical element of any workplace strategy is training.
Training should begin when an employee joins an organization and the overwhelming majority of us are familiar with the type of induction programs run in a typical workplace. However, training does not end with induction and whether it is training employees for a new position or implementing new workplace regulations a business will have continuous training needs.
Identifying and hiring the right people for a business can be a time consuming and expensive process so why let it all go to waste by subsequently failing to invest in the ongoing training and development of those staff members? When new staff come on board it makes sense to have someone monitor or mentor them for the first few months. A mentor can help an employee feel valued more quickly within an organization and the mentor can bring their experience to bear in helping with any problem issues that arise. Indeed, a minor issue might be better dealt with on a more informal basis.
Formal training and development allows an organization to track employee productivity and morale. A formal approach is also beneficial from the point of view of overall strategic planning, enabling the business to see if current staffing meets new business objectives. Sometimes, however, an informal approach works well. Regular, or even spur of the moment, celebrations – a meal or a staff day out – are great ways to say thank you to employees on a job well done, but staff do not always need a party to feel appreciated. A shake of the hand or a thank-you email or card is often enough to let an employee know that their contribution to the success of the business is appreciated.
Unfortunately, there is always a small number of employees resistant to change and workplace or even personal development. In some cases, it is better to move these people on but a business cannot simply sack a worker and absolve itself of all responsibilities in that regard. Procedures in line with employee regulations must be followed. A system whereby verbal warnings lead to written warnings and a disciplinary hearing, if it reaches that point, prevents abuse of the employer-employee relationship from occurring on both sides.
One area of concern for employers has to be substance abuse among employees. Not only does substance abuse affect an employee’s productivity and morale, but also it also impacts on the morale of that employee’s colleagues and potentially places them in danger.
An oral fluid lab test is a quick and efficient way of testing for substance abuse. The results of an oral fluid test can be issued within one day, allowing a business to expedite any disciplinary or intervention procedures required. A lab testing company that uses the latest procedures and technology to get optimum results should be used. Of course, conducting lab tests for potential substance abuse needs to be a voluntary process. Before introducing any such system an employer should meet with staff and brief them on what the system will comprise and how it will benefit them. Employee concerns should be answered up front. If a positive case of substance abuse is found it is an opportunity for the employer or, more appropriately, an outside professional, to sit down with the employee in question and discuss possible intervention and treatment.
It is critical that employees are aware of their job responsibilities. If there is a lack of structure in how employee tasks are delegated, members of staff tend to end up assuming responsibilities that are not theirs or that they lack training for. This can drag down morale and affect responsibility.
As a business professional you know the importance of employees in an organization. Successful employees help drive successful businesses, working to achieve their own objectives and overall objectives of the organization in question. Creating a strategy to get the best out of your employees means creating an environment in which everyone is aware of their responsibilities and happy to work to achieve them, so that the business can succeed.