As the rest of the world watches to see what country emerges as the next economic super power, it is imperative to recognise what fuels the engine behind economic success. It is not the large corporations or governmental entities: it is, in fact, Small to Medium Enterprises. It is the many businesses that collectively create wealth for a country by creating jobs and contributing to the flow and investment of money. However, this doesn’t happen until business owners, such as Start Ups, grow their company.
There are many contributors to growth, but what is often overlooked or under-valued is that growth comes from within by having professional Human Resources practices and talent management initiatives. For this to happen companies must move from having human resources to leveraging human capital; resources dwindle while capital increases. This is where you will either see SMEs have growth or flatline; thus, causing the country with successful SMEs to dominate the global market. If a country is going to have a viable seat at the global table and maintain sustainability, capacity building through Human Capital must become a part of a company’s strategic plan.
Anyone who is well versed in business and economics knows that Brazil (not so much anymore), Russia, India and China (BRIC) are jockeying for a seat at the global economic power table. However, it is not the country with the most people, formidable military, unlimited resources or financial stability that will be crowned as the world power based on things that are not sustainable. It will go to the country; wherein, their SMEs are not only sustainable but also experiencing ongoing growth capacity.
What many SMEs and Entrepreneurs need to know:
Growth capacity occurs when a company turns the corner from a small-to-medium enterprise to a growth firm. Growth becomes more complex as the company matures. Research has shown that one of many vital ingredients to becoming a growth firm is based on a company’s ability to attract, develop and retain talent. Initially, when a business owner/Entrepreneur launched his company, his biggest concern was the business card and who will buy his product or service. After, things settled, he had to choose between being an entrepreneur or solopreneur. This meant taking his journey independently or to acquire talent to help him stay in business. Then a profit was achieved and the owner shifted from working in the business to managing the business. Then another shift occurred where his core group needed to manage people causing them to move from doers to managers and then leaders. Where it becomes difficult is when employees start having expectations that the company cannot fulfil. Once, I asked a mentor when or how do you know that you are a success. He replied with “When people want to work for you.” My company received a lot of notoriety and recognition which caused people to seek out employment with my company. However, I couldn’t retain top talent. I would attribute the problem to the employees, but someone was courageous enough to share with me that my company didn’t have a foundation required for today’s workforce, partially because of me and my leadership style. This meant that I couldn’t get any traction, loyalty was lacking, and there was no intellectual depository from people contributing over time. I was constantly rebuilding versus growing. Once I learned how to be a leader, and started practicing leadership versus ownership, I saw profits increase. You can’t boss your way to continued success.
Many people seek to align with MNCs or the government, so as a business owner you need to make your organisation attractive to top talent. In short, what is the differentiator between you and your competition for talent which is vastly different from competition for customers? What people basically want are three easy things that you can offer:
Organisations focus on valuing diversity, but miss the mark on inclusion. What does it matter if you have one of these and two of those, if people are unable to fully integrate into the organisation and they aren’t valued for who they are as individual contributors? Businesses must move beyond counting heads to making heads count. We hire people for what they offer and fire them for who they are. If you want to see improved results, embrace diversity by valuing and allowing inclusion. There must be some acceptance to who the person is based on her differences and not solely tolerated because of her skills.
An organisation that sees thinking as a skill and offers incentives to increase thinking will be head and shoulders above the competition. When a company reinforces that people only work within their job description, punishes employees for mistakes and overlooks rewarding creativity and original thought, that company will struggle to attract and retain the best and brightest. This will cause an organisation to maintain for now and wither in the future, as the global market taps into thought leaders and people who are out thinking the competition. Invest in your employees by providing them with tools to become better thinkers.
As the talent war for viable employees heat up, individuals are seeking to join organisations that can help them achieve their career goals and aspirations. It must be a symbiotic relationship; wherein, the employee gives and the employer gives for a win win. Unfortunately, some companies only expect employees to be with their company on average 2 to 3 years. However, if companies create a road map for employees to achieve measurable results within the company or prepare them for their future, that company will reap the benefits while they are employed with your company. If a company goes into the relationship knowing that they are going to cultivate employees while reaping the benefits, companies will be surprised to see that employees will actually become loyal and opt to stay with the company. This is accomplished by (1) hiring people for what they can become and (2) figuring out what is lacking in the organisation in terms of skill sets so that you can develop people from within instead of ongoing recruitment. In short, it is easier to develop and retain than to recruit and hire. Your true competitive edge may be realised by developing your organisation’s bench strength.
Out of these three, which one are you most proud of accomplishing, and which one could you use help on achieving. Feel free to call us for more information on our products and services that address this topic or visit www.4-DPerformance.com or email sinclair@4-DPerformance.com.