By Key Business Advisors
Human Resources

Written by KBA Director, Colin Wilson

With almost 10 years of experience in working with SME ‘Small to Medium size businesses’, Key Business Advisors understands the concept of ‘HOW’ to get it right when it comes to hiring and developing the right people in your business. Many businesses have a business plan, strategic marketing plan and a financial budget to grow their business, but what we have found most businesses are lacking is a “Staff Plan”.

How do we find them, how do we develop them and how do we keep them?

Wages are one of the biggest costs, if not the biggest cost in a business, so why is it that so many SME’s miss the importance of developing a staff strategy that is measured for the success of their business.

In Jim Collins’ book ‘Good To Great’ it explores the concept of building and having Level 5 Leaders in an organisation, Level 1 – Highly Capable Individual, Level 2 – Contributing Team Member, Level 3 – Competent Manager, Level 4 Effective Leader, and Level 5 – Executive, that builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. It is all about finding and developing great leaders in your company for future growth.

If you have the right people within your business, the problem of how to motivate your team becomes easier to manage, as staff are self-motivated to produce great results.

It is key not to demotivate people due to lack of planning, organisation or leadership. In every business you need to have the right processes, policies and procedures in place to drive motivation. In today’s consumer landscape it is all too easy for customers to take their business elsewhere should your team fall short of their expectations. Increased motivation creates increased customer satisfaction and business growth.

A true leader will want to see the business grow, staying focused and conducting themselves in a manner that aligns with the company vision, values and purpose. They hire outstanding people because they understand what it takes. These people are more than capable of doing the job and want to grow on their knowledge and skills to become the best employee they can be. They will be self-motivated, paving a clear pathway for professional growth and development, taking ownership of their role and helping others do so too.

Every business has different verticals/departments within its structure. As the business grows, department’s form and management positions become available. Sometimes, when departments grow at a steady or fast pace, the business structure can fall apart. If not monitored or managed properly, some departments may start to form their own strategies and processes that may not be aligned with those of the other departments in your business or with your overall business strategy.

To avoid cracks and bottlenecks that cause frustration as well as loss of productivity, good staff that show the right attitude and personality need to shine in every department. Sales is the blood of every business and you need the right people in the right roles to ensure you keep and grow your existing customers, whilst also developing new opportunities and avenues to stay in business. It is extremely important that all departments within your business work together as one team and follow procedures to support your sales process and client strategy. You need to focus on growing both your sales profits and your staff – generally, one will not happen without the other. Developing staff skill-sets is key with high products and systems knowledge increasing personal capability. You need to rely on your staff members to do their job as per their Position Description and this why it is so important and that you have organisational structure with the right KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and KRA’s (Key Result Areas) that they need to focus on to perform to their job role, if not exceed it.

Managing staff performance has to become a necessity in your business and it has to be done regularly and right. You must develop your staff to ensure the success of your business. You must follow a HR process to protect your business and having the right HR Process that is compliant with Fair Work standards and practices minimises your business risk. Ensuring you have the right performance management system and workplace improvement strategies in place will maximise opportunities and return high productivity, which leads to high profits. It is KEY if you want to effectively manage your staff, retain your KEY staff members/top performers. A staff strategy will drive staff retention and this is the key to a successful business.

Managing staff is one of the hardest skills to learn, particularly when your team is comprised of staff from different age brackets and with different personalities. The secret is to ensure that everyone gets along and works in a team environment to get the job done starts with the culture of your business. If the culture of the business promotes teamwork and being customer focused, then the business will see positive results. On the other hand, if the culture of the business is dominated by a negative or apathetic “I don’t care” attitude, or a “that’s not my job or customer” mindset, then there will be limited results. Over time, a negative person or an inefficient department can create a negative culture throughout the entire business.

How do you know if your staff are engaged in your business? Do they understand what the direction of the business is, or how it is performing? Do the directors/ owners share the company’s performance highs and lows to the team, or how they are feeling about their business? In most cases it’s the business owner or manager that has failed the staff member because of the lack of leadership or engagement.

Are your staff challenged, engaged and committed to grow themselves in order to grow your business? Are they complacent, fulfilling the required hours and tasks to collect their pay? Or are they disengaged, filling in time while they are awaiting or trying to find another job that it is more suitable for them?

Staff turnover is a high cost to a business and having your staff driving in the same direction is key. Staff start in your business on their first day all excited and motivated because you have sold them the job role and set the expectations, but where does it go wrong later down the track? Is it because of poor induction, lack of leadership, lack of company structure, planning and organisation by you? Maybe they don’t really understand clearly what is expected of them. Maybe the goalposts have changed or keep moving? Before you decide to move a staff member on, what can you do to get them re-engaged back into your business/department so they are challenged to grow?

You may need outside help to get this process right. Key Business Advisors are here not only to assist your business in taking the step from good to great, but also to ensure your business achieves continued success well beyond 2017.

Sign up to attend our ‘How to Manage and Motivate Staff through a HR Process’. For additional information, please visit our website https://keyba.com.au/upcoming-events/ Or call our 1300 4 ADVICE number for help to implement a HR Plan into your business that will help with your Staff Plan designed to maximise your sustainability.


The first 3 customers who enquire about conducting a workshop for their business will receive a free copy of Good to Great. This will be sent directly to you upon your enquiry of interest.

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