Smart Hiring
May 6, 2019

Is Your Business Great?

By Teri A. Coutu, Solution Architect

What do you think is the number one factor that makes a business great?

Think for a minute…. Maybe it’s about having a great product or service? A steady revenue stream? Great Location? Super CEO/Leadership? Well, all these factors do help build a successful business or organization, but truly great businesses all have one thing in common – they are made up of great employees.

Whether your company is large or small, has a big team or just a couple, your success is directly related to how each member of your team thinks, feels, and works. And for small businesses, employees have an even bigger impact on overall success.

If you aren’t sure your team is the key to your success, answer a few questions:

  • Hour for hour, who spends more time with customers – you or your staff?
  • Who answers the business phone more often – you or your staff?
  • Collectively, who meets and talks to more people per month – you or your staff?

World Class?

I used to work with a client who had the potential to run a world-class medical spa. She was superbly skilled in her area of medicine, had a flare for connecting with people, and was located in a high-end location. But she was having trouble retaining patients/clients. After spending some time in her clinic and surveying patients, the problem was very obvious – while she had visions and plans to be world-class, her staff was not on the same page.

It’s very common for small business leaders to be so busy handling budgets, marketing, and development, that they don’t have time to focus on employees. And, in rural areas, many companies are so desperate for help that they don’t have time to fully engage in a good hiring, on-boarding, and employee development programs. But, if you want your business to grow and succeed, even a few steps can take you a long way!

So, what are a few steps you can take to help you hire, develop, and retain great employees?

Re-write your job descriptions. Don’t just focus on tasks and responsibilities, look at the personality type and behaviors needed to do well in that role. For instance, if you are looking for new wait staff, hiring someone who is outgoing, good under pressure, and a good team player is probably more important than finding someone who has previous experience as a server. After all, you can train someone to serve, but it’s not likely that you can teach someone how to be outgoing.

Become a better leader. People take their cues from their boss. So, it’s important that everyone on the leadership team is focused on developing their emotional intelligence (EQ) and in creating a cooperative culture. Attend workshops, participate in Mastermind groups, and work with an executive coach to help take your leadership to the next level.

Create a cooperative culture. Employees who feel appreciated, respected and included as part of the team are more likely to enjoy their job. And, when a person likes their job, that joy spreads to everyone they work with including other team members and customers!

One more thing….
The client I mentioned previously did not believe that her team was inhibiting the success of her business even though the survey results spelled it out. As a result, she didn’t engage in any of the programs I recommended, and her practice has been steadily declining.

So, while you do need great employees to have a great business, it all starts when the person(s) at the top recognize the importance of their team and do all they can to attract and retain good people. What are you doing to create a great business?