Having the right people is an absolute non-negotiable for your business – it doesn’t matter if they are casual or permanent, employed for the long term or just for the busy Christmas rush.
You must follow the five Rs when you have built your business to the point where you have 1, 2, 3 or 10 staff, whether they are permanent or just with you for the short term. It is imperative to remember that whether someone is a short-term or long-term employee, they are representing you and your business.
There are five key aspects to getting the people part of your business right. They are:
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1. Right people
Not too hard to understand! You must have the right people. They must be aligned with your goals and your desired outcomes. They must be as committed to the success of your business as you are. If you don’t have the right people, the remaining four Rs won’t help you.
2. Clear about roles
Clearly defining the roles of everybody in the business is imperative. Without a clearly defined role, how can you expect to get the best out of somebody? How will they know what they should be doing? How will you judge whether they are succeeding or failing? How will they know what their position is in the organisation?
3. Clear about responsibilities
Clarity about responsibilities is also crucial. Without it you’ll end up with an inefficient workforce that doesn’t know who is supposed to do what. And without clear responsibilities there can be no accountability.
4. Getting paid the right money
This is a no-brainer. Treat your staff as an investment, not a cost. The right people will return your investment many times over. Paying the right money will help you attract and retain the right people, and your business will reap the rewards.
5. Providing the right results
This is about congruency. If you’ve just designed a great widget, that doesn’t really help my business if I wanted you to design a doodad. Everything your people do must be in line with your long-term strategic plan.
Of the five Rs, most businesses have problems paying the right money. Business owners think low salaries are a great way to cut costs, and then they scratch their heads wondering why they don’t get the right results.
Your ability to attract and retain the best staff will be highly compromised if you don’t pay the right money. You don’t have to go overboard, but you do have to pay staff salaries that reflect their value to the business. If you don’t, one of your competitors will, and that’s how you lose the best people. Keep in mind that your best staff are always the ones with the most options, so you must pay them what they deserve to keep them.
As my mentor once said, 50% of something successful is way better than 100% of something that’s not, so one great person can replace two or three good or average people.
Stefan Kazakis is a business strategist, presenter and speaker and author of the new book, From Deadwood to Diamonds.