In my many years of assessing business operations a common problem I have found is that many people have never taken the time to think about what they want from their business or in fact their own lives. They typically live one day at a time both personally and professionally. Unfortunately as a leader, people become what they see their leader as.
Instead of strategising for the long immediate and long term outlook, they focus on solving each problem as it comes along instead of being a pro-active leader and a strong advocate of identifying and then mitigating potential risks that may prevent you setting the business apart from competition.
It is not uncommon for these people to leave the big decisions of their lives to others. This sad approach has a tendency to develop attitudes and outlooks that justify their behavior. They surrender the future to the almost predictable.
The great leaders focus on goals that will determine how strategies will grow the business and start to make things happen and realise a sustainable pattern of success in both employee development and business outputs which add substantial value to profit through operational best practice efficiencies.
Having a set of short, medium and long-term goals is an essential part of personal and business development. All of the goals and tasks which are documented as part of the strategic business plan must be measurable with stretched but achievable targets. The old saying is so true. If you cant measure it, you cant manage it.
The other critical ingredient to ongoing success is an ability to train staff at all levels and make those people who want to advance and have a purpose/future into marketable assets of the business. When I say all levels, I mean all levels from the lowest paid to the most senior level. Train, train, train. However, realise that all employees won’t achieve the best by undertaking common programmes. Each person is different and has individual skill sets which requires programmes to suit them. Programmes which build on their strengths and overcome their weaknesses at the same time. This approach get the best abng for the training dollar.
Remunerate employees for what they can contribute without being accused of making sweetheart deals or violating awards. Multi-skilling has been a proven success for years now. If an employee reaches proficiency in three (3) different skill sets. The recognise this through their hourly rate of pay.
The other critical ingredient to ensure as part of the strategic plan is a robust communication policy and procedure where people are continually informed of what the company is doing, what the plans are, and will ensure that all employees feel an integral part of the decision making process.
Remember, you are not only in the strategic objective business, but in the people business.