How ironic it is that I find so many managers today who have really not been at the coal face and made things happen to attain sustainable growth through the development of their greatest resource. PEOPLE.

My policy was to always make every employee who desired to make a contribution into marketable company assets. That included all levels from top executives to shop floor contributors.

There are employees who see themselves as unable to contribute simply because they have no formal training and/or qualifications. How absolutely sad this is. People don’t stand and get dirty because they want to, it is because they have to and most probably haven’t been given the opportunities in life that some people have.

Great managers can turn this around by offering relevant training and when there is proficiency in three (3) different skill sets this must be recognised through the employees hourly rate.

I then hear some managers say but we are different to which I say, although the products and processes may differ the principles of great management are all the same. You will achieve more through people believing they now have a purpose in their working life that those who believe they are not valued.

I have been so privileged to have been part of a company who grew from $30m to $125m in four (4) years simply through the development of people and also making them part of the decision making processes. We were injuring 30% of the workplace before I took over as manager, and through the process of total inclusion and a strong communications policy supported by a best practice safety programme we saw this go to zero injury lost time for four (4) years and a national 5 star safety rating for those years.

Managers must never underestimate the importance of people management and how this can underpin a most positive future for your business.

All of these management principles are still very relevant today and if utilised will see positive changes to business outcomes.

I grieve tremendously when I see businesses struggling over diminishing sales and profit because they have seen fit to adopt academic management which has been precipitated through reading books or because they are degree qualified with absolutely no ‘COAL-FACE’ experience.