Richard Branson once famously said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to.”
Training can be easier said than done. The team of business advisers at BDO Gisborne explore ways you can empower your team through upskilling, increasing their knowledge base, encouragement, positive reinforcement, and more.
Upskilling through delegation
Delegating is an effective way to expose your team to the knowledge and skills they’ll need to advance themselves and their careers. Be mindful of each individual’s strengths and assign them responsibilities that will expand on those strengths. Believe in your team and support them by giving opportunities to grow and contribute.
Not only does delegation provide opportunities for your team to upskill, it will free you up to focus on your own business challenges and responsibilities that you are uniquely qualified to manage.
Don’t feel like only you as the business owner or manager can delegate tasks, either. Give your team chances to demonstrate leadership, initiative, progressive thinking, or other qualities they’ll need for professional growth. Consider involving them in giving presentations, coming up with new strategies, supervising or managing people, etc. Explaining what needs to be done as well as how to do it, and why, will give a fuller picture of the expected outcomes. Justifying your instruction with knowledge and insight will improve retention, helping employees internalise your lessons and remember them in the future.
Set boundaries through clear expectations and productive feedback
Defining success makes it much more attainable. When developing talent within your business, it is important to clearly define expectations and establish boundaries. Your team will find themselves trying new things as they grow, so they’ll need help knowing where they stand. Understanding these expectations and boundaries will be crucial for self-assessment, self-reflection, taking ownership and building confidence.
Furthermore, constructive and tactful feedback will demonstrate your vested interest in the professional growth of your staff. Try to be detail-oriented and instructive when providing feedback. A simple “good job” doesn’t always quantify success. Think about mentioning particular aspects of the job that were well done.
Provide space and resources
We often learn best through failure, but this can be a challenge when those failures reflect on the reputation of your business. Empowering your team will require that you strike a balance between giving them room to grow and protecting your customers from the risk of error. An effective way to strike this balance is to ensure that your business provides tools and resources for your team to turn to rather than appealing to you for help. Stepping through a delegation process is one way of managing this balance of employee growth vs business risk.
Consider maintaining an internal training portal for relevant processes or funding external training opportunities such as accounting courses or financial literacy or one-on-one professional coaching for goal setting, planning, effective decision making or employment advice. Keep in mind that every person’s learning path is unique, and what they need may not be the same as what you once needed. By providing space for your team to develop, you create a sense of accountability that will also give them a feeling of ownership over their accomplishments.
Make yourself available
Nothing empowers your team more than an open door. Simple conversation, even small talk, creates a healthy exchange of knowledge. Remember, effective leadership leaves little room for ego. It’s not your job to know more than those who report to you, so don’t withhold the knowledge that helped get you to where you are. Rather, it’s your job to harness the strengths and potential of your employees, as individuals and a team, to boost your business.
So, share what you know, but also be sure to listen. Accept ideas and input from anyone in your team who has something to offer. Free-flowing conversation channels are both educational and highly motivating.
Recognise hard work and progress
Employee development is often challenging, and encouragement can have a major and positive impact. Strive to cultivate a culture of self-improvement in your business by recognising and rewarding hard work and initiative. Employees typically want to know that the hard work they’ve put in will not only be appreciated but could create opportunities for them down the track. Acknowledging their growth is crucial for them to understand their development hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Improving talent improves business
To empower your team is to make the most of your business’s resources. To reach your full potential, however, it pays to look beyond your own walls for the greatest tools and expertise available to you.
BDO’s industry-leading accounting and people advisory teams help countless New Zealand businesses every year position themselves for greater success. Contact BDO Gisborne today to learn more about our business advisory services.