When we think of a business investment, we often picture dollars and cents – a business owner seeking investors, investing in the best materials to yield the best product. However, many times in business we fail to invest in the most important piece of the puzzle – the people! People are the heartbeat of any business, and without proper investment they begin to feel unappreciated and are often less productive. Even your clients and customers respond well to feeling that you’ve invested a little more time and effort into taking care of their needs.
Investing in the people who work for you is a great way to achieve higher productivity from your team. Yielding better results from one person is far more desirable than getting mediocre results from two people. Your business will also likely have a lower turnover rate when your staff feels that you are investing in their growth and development. Many companies are offering on the job training that leads to certifications and licenses in their given field. Others are sending their top performers to receive continuing education, or offering tuition reimbursement on certain classes.
If your business is unable to support continuing education, you can invest in your people in other ways. A great way to build morale and productivity is to offer development plans to employees who would like to move up within the company. For example, an administrative assistant who would like to some day be office manager is a great person to invest in. Because they want to move up, they are likely to welcome additional assignments that stretch their current role. If the current office manager is in charge of the budget, have them teach the administrative assistant how to use the program. This gives the assistant a new sense of purpose and likely will give the office manager an appreciated break from the task.
Choose wisely – not every person wants to move up and may not welcome additional work. Always sit down and ask the person first if they are interested in a development plan before sinking your resources into them. If not, don’t be discouraged – just invest in their current role!