Scale requires talent:
You can only impact so many lives or grow so large by yourself. We all want to disrupt a market, even if it is just our neighborhood. Share your vision, be selective with who you allow to put their stamp on it, and don't go it alone.
Happy employees are your best sales force:
"So what do you do?" This is one of the top ice breaking questions that is asked at parties. How are your employees going to answer? If you have made your vision & mission clear you will attract employees that embrace and embody that vision. Those same people will speak passionately about their job at YOUR company. Words like disruptive, impact, and career will be apart of their answer to that age old party question. Passionate answers get people's attention, which leads to interest. As Blake portrayed by Alec Baldwin schooled us in Glengarry Glen Ross those are the first two steps to closing the sale. Attention, Interest, Decision, Action. Now get them a cup of hot coffee!
Retention cost less than acquisition:
Think about the time and money spent on each step of hiring a new employee. Consider the lost productivity when you don't have anyone filling a particular role. When you add it all up it will always cost more to add new people that it does to retain good ones. I'm not even talking about great employees, though that is the goal. Keep your standards high, offer a better than average compensation package, and stay focused on the vision. It will cost you less every time.
Lower your insurance cost:
Health employees cost less and produce more, period. Demonstrate that you are a stakeholder in your employee's well being. Take time to establish structure that promotes safety and health. Your health insurance, workers compensation insurance, and general liability premiums will decrease over time. Happy employees show up, are less likely to fake or exaggerate an injury, and don't sue you.
Free yourself for strategic growth:
If you are still making all of the sales calls, responding to every customer issue, and refilling the copy machine you can't execute on the big picture. Find the best people for each area of the business and let them own it. The right staff will help you balance charting a course for the future with keeping the sails full of wind now.
You don't have all of the answers:
Some of the best procedures and products have come from employees. While you may not have the resources to let employees work on personal projects on the company dime, you can listen to them regularly. We are no longer in an era where employers can simply state the tasks and demand that employees carry them out mindlessly. We have computers for that. Leverage their abilities and brain power by listening. Many great Google products you can't live without were pet projects of employees.
Your employees equal your customer UX
No matter what product or service you offer the world, the following is true. The state of your staff directly and overwhelmingly impacts user experience. Create a great work environment, give extra breaks to people who are not physically or emotionally at 100%, send them home for the day with pay if necessary. A restaurant can't afford the negative word of mouth. Limited customer interaction you say. Do a search of strange image in animated movies. Ask the folks at Disney undisciplined and angry animators have cost them money and goodwill.
More eyes and ears create more opportunities:
The better quality people you have on your team the better your hearing and sight will be as an organization. Since you are transacting deals that with propel the company forward you can't see and hear everything. Good observers who are empowered to report back and take action are immensely valuable. They will save your biggest client, spot opportunities for new ones, and help the company innovate.
Dead weight can drown you:
Great employers get rid of mediocre employees quickly. Amateurs always cost more that professionals. If someone doesn't meet your standard help them move on,now. I know they are 'good' at their job, fun, and loyal; but they aren't passionate about your vision. Help them find some place they can bring passion to someone else's or maybe their own vision. When an employee is not the right fit this is an instance where the hiring process will cost less than keeping an existing staffer.
People are your profit center:
Figure out how every person you hire should add revenue and or cut cost in your business. Know the dollar amount that position equals then create the job functions around that dollar goal. Now your paradigm has shifting and you can hire without fear of the expense. You will be set up to only hire the right person at the right time with this filter. When you begin to view every single person in your organization as a profit center productivity and profits will soar.
How will you be a better employer and grow in 2014?