3 Ways You Can Create a People Centric Business to Generate Higher Profits
Culture, employee engagement and everything in between is a topic that I’m very passionate about, and therefore, I leap at any opportunity to talk about it.
I love it because it’s incredibly important and critical to success, yet many businesses get it so wrong. I’m allowed to say this because I have experienced first hand the reverse – profits before people – and also, it’s my area of expertise.
My philosophy is this; if you look after your people and focus on empowering and enabling them to be the best versions of themselves, then profits will follow. Of course, there is more to this, but put quite simply; people matter. And it’s time businesses started recognising that because when they do, magic happens.
My bug bare is hearing business owners and CEO’s, time and time again, paying lip service and pretending that people are their priority, when their actions and decision-making suggest something completely different. The pursuit of profits becomes unrelenting, at times egotistical and most worryingly, ineffective. Running a business in this way may have worked in the past, however it doesn’t work any more.
Instead, valuing people and engaging them in a way that motivates and inspires them beyond their job description is the only way to triumph in today’s world. The fact of the matter is; you need people to generate the profits.
Let’s consider a few of the fundamentals to building a profitable and sustainable businesses. These include, but are not limited to high standards of; customer service, innovation, productivity, communication and leadership. All of which require input, effort and energy from people.
People are the engine room of every business. By focussing on profits, businesses are focussing on the end result, rather than the creator of the result. Rather than asking “what do we need to do to increase profits?”, change the question to ask, “what do we need to do to enable our people to perform at their best?”.
The reality is, without people, there is no business. So, why wouldn’t businesses put them first?
Here are three ways you can start creating a people-centric business:
Create a winning culture
A lot of businesses forget this part, which is crazy because it is the foundation of any great business. Culture is the DNA of your business and represents; who you are, what you’re striving for, what you stand for and how you behave. In other words, it’s defining your vision, mission, values and goals.
Teams who deliver phenomenal results and exceptional customer service are inspired and motivated by a united purpose and culture that empowers them to be the best version of themselves.
The key here is to make the vision and mission about people and think beyond yourself. Wear your heart on your sleeve and tell the word how you’re going to make a difference. This approach is far more impactful, exciting and poignant for employees, stakeholders and customers.
Your culture forms the basis in which everything else sits on – your decision making strategies, recruitment process, ideal clients, service delivery model and marketing messages (the list goes on) must align with your culture. Do this, and you’ll notice that running your business becomes more enjoyable and rewarding.
Fire fast and hire slow
The way in which you recruit and retain people is oh-so very important. Firstly, your process must reflect your culture. When you know the DNA of your business, you know the DNA of your ideal employee.
The key is to change the conversation from understanding whether the candidate has the right skills and whether you can offer them the right salary to; do they have the right values, standards and attitude to ‘fit-in’ with the business culture.
When the conversation is all about hitting KPI’s, skills and qualifications, you don’t attract the best people. You want to attract people who are motivated to add value, improve results and ‘wow’ your customers because they are excited by the vision and mission.
Finding culturally-aligned people may take a bit longer, however, trust me when I say, it’s short term pain for long term gain.
Celebrate success often
Employers need to get real when it comes to understanding what their employees want.
The fact is, people are driven emotionally and seek validation and appreciation more than anything else. Rewards and recognition is not just about giving big bonuses and arranging weekly Friday afternoon drinks, which only drives temporary satisfaction. It’s about celebrating your employees as individuals and rewarding them in ways that make them feel valued.
The opportunity exists for business owners to find ways to show their appreciation and encourage team spirit on a regular basis that doesn’t eat into profits.
I like to call this, celebrating success – it’s a ritual that is both simple and quick to implement. Think public announcements, surprise fun awards, weekly shout outs and/or getting together as a team over morning tea to thank people for their contribution, both big and small (not just sales focussed).
What ever the ritual is, get the whole team involved and make it a regular part of the week.
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