5 Tips to Develop Your Workforce
You’ve handpicked your crop of employees and since carried out more decisions and adjustments than a Chelsea florist. Yet, no matter how successful your company is and how hard-working the carefully selected individuals are, it’s essential to always work on developing your workforce as a whole. Here’s our top five tips on how to do so:
It is a fruitless endeavour to have staff members who are beacons of knowledge if their knowledge isn’t shared. Instead, aim to utilise their experience to your whole workforce by implementing mentoring and coaching strategies to expand and exchange skills within the team. A few examples of this include Reverse Mentoring, where a senior member of the team is paired to a junior member, allowing them to share and pass on knowledge by working alongside them one day a week. Peer-coaching is also a great way to draw experience for your workforce through working with external organisations and partners, as well as providing an opportunity to spot talent both inside and outside the company. Implementing time-scales and objectives to these coaching sessions will ensure visible results.
Imagine you’re stranded on an island with 30 others. Looking at the group and discussing ideas for your escape, you would quickly find that the greater the diversity within the group, the greater the variety of ideas - and thus the higher likelihood of a success! This isn’t all too different from the work place. In order to fully develop your workforce, it’s important to take a closer look at your employees. Ask yourself: What is each person offering that makes them unique? Do you have somebody in your team to represent each demographic? By having diversity in age, sex and experience the richer the ideas, skills and representations will be. Yet, despite the clear benefits of diversity, there are still significantly less women both making up the workplace and filling senior positions. In order for your company to progress and address different markets, it is essential that it offers the opportunity for everybody to succeed and thrive equally.
“Communication is key”. It’s a timeless phrase and often spouted as the cure to any relationship problem, but this shouldn’t detract from the truth that lies behind it. No matter how big a team, if there isn’t sufficient communication between the ranks, little progress can be made by individuals. One way to solve communication issues is to organise social group outings outside of work, to allow for team-building and relationships to grow. By implementing several line managers, each employee can have an easily contactable and approachable figure to discuss problems with. Yet, communication doesn’t have to be restricted to inside of the office walls. In fact, it very advantageous to keep in contact with external partners, whether it’s a friendly email catching up, or monthly meetings to keep up dated on each other’s plans. This can also make it a lot easier to recruit new staff members, find and network with new contacts. An easy way to keep on top of what’s going on and to acknowledge the achievements of other companies is to connect with them via LinkedIn.
Identify the weaknesses in your company and address them by setting targets and offering rewards. By creating a clear road map for your workforce, employees have something to aim towards and an idea of whether or not they are on the right track. Keep on top of promotion rates and appraisal scores to make sure that you are rewarding and promoting team members fairly and not rewarding certain competencies over others.
Figures show that the environment people work in can have a huge impact on their work output. Whilst working from home often seems like an easier option, it has been identified that those who work outside the office tend to put in more hours than their office-counterparts, who often also work at night and whilst travelling. This indicates that individuals working from home can maximise the potential results that the company achieves as a whole. This is reflected in the successes of Tech giants Dell, who boast 65% of their workforce as being based out of the office and remain one of the leaders in their field. By providing these opportunities, positions at your firm become instantly more appealing. For instance, one in three millennials rate the option to work at home as being more important than salary and see it as the ideal set up rather than simply a perk of the job. A more equally accessible environment is also created in the process for those unable to travel in, such as those with disabilities or stay-at-home parents. Use your experiences and resumes to strategically identify who you feel works best under supervision and who thrives in an office environment.
If you have any tips or experience on how to improve a workforce, please let us know in the comments below - we'd love to hear from you!