THE AGE OLD RECIPE FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS
If you haven`t already acknowledged that people are your single biggest asset you have to offer then your business is likely to be in grave danger and you should act quickly, says Ian Walker of 3P Logistics.
The ultra-competitive world in which we operate in today is awash with competitors and head hunters looking to lure your people away from your business. If your people aren`t particularly engaged then they are likely to feel undervalued and therefore more susceptible to an approach.
The majority of UK businesses tend to focus their energies towards customer attraction and retention instead of PEOPLE. We often see and hear the phrase “we put the customer at the very heart of our decision making”. The more lateral thinkers amongst us however would adopt a more lateral thought process and instead would opt to put their people at the forefront of their decision making.
The logic here is simple:
A losing formula
Disengaged people = high employee churn = low output = high customer churn = Weak business
A winning formula
Engaged People = high employee retention = high output = Great Customers = Strong Business
A thought for the day:
If sales, marketing, and customer service are on-going investments to help attract and retain great customers then what components are in place to attract and retain great people?
The key ingredients to address in any “people orientated” company normally centre upon the following areas:
- Pay and Benefits
- Work environment
- Job satisfaction
- Career prospects
- Training and development
- Healthy working relationships
- Fun (Including social)
By jumping straight into customer centric mode businesses run a real risk of overlooking the very people that represent the proposition beyond the product. Employees represent a large proportion of the vital components that ultimately determine whether your business will or won`t attract desirable business and it is therefore a natural starting point in any business strategy.
“People engagement” is a phrase used all too flippantly and without a clear vision on where you want to take your people then you are likely to be a largely reactive business. A classic case of reactive management would be that of the proverbial “counter offer”. Paying people more money to keep them is a common kneejerk reaction to a potential crisis and is only ever a short term measure that assumes money as the only motivation. Prevention is always better than cure and therefore employers should focus a whole lot more on employee engagement and get to know what makes them tick. If this were a key customer then a key account plan and SWOT analysis would no doubt be in place and reviewed regularly – why not for people?
It is widely accepted these days that the creative sector is a pioneer in people engagement and this is being driven to new heights as demand outstrips supply of skilled people and competition reaches fever pitch.
How long is it before all sectors face a similar skills challenge?
My advice is not to wait around to discover the answer.
The Logistics sector for example has seen a meteoric rise in demand in recent years with new build distribution centres sprouting up all over the North West region and beyond. These huge sheds not only need lots of people but people with experience and employers will naturally seek out these people from existing operations.
Times have changed forever and the modern day employer must possess a much more liberal mind set as those that don`t adapt will simply get left behind.
Acknowledging a need for change is THE biggest milestone in any cultural journey and this should always be underpinned by a desired outcome i.e. the employer of choice in your respective sector or region.
The above direction will help steer the company towards a business vision of “best companies to work for status” and with that will come high performing people, job satisfaction, great clients and a high performing business.
Remember – if you don`t value and engage with your employees then there are countless competitors that will!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With its head office based in the UK Ian is the Managing Director and original founder of 3P Logistics, a leading provider of global logistics and order fulfilment. His business provides outsourced supply chain support to a wide range of UK & International b2b & b2c clientele. Recent winners of the Wigan business awards the business also works closely with various affiliated bodies in helping its UK based clients to grow internationally.
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