All you need is love: why investing in people should still be your top priority


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Donald Trump once said, “watch, listen, and learn. You can’t know it all yourself. Anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.” He had a good point. Although your own performance is critical, you will never succeed unless your people are all behind you.

In these days of high employment, and high expectations from employees, you need to invest in your people more than ever. What does this mean in practice, though?

1. Get the right people

Start at the beginning by putting in the necessary time to identify and describe the right people you need. Without a great brief, the people responsible for hiring won’t know what you need. When you do find the right people, pay whatever it takes to secure them. It may seem expensive at the time, but it’s much cheaper than hiring no-one, or hiring the wrong person.

Also, have a culture of not hiring anything less than the best. It may take longer and cause a little more difficulty, but it pays dividends in the medium and long term.

2. Develop

Most surveys these days reveal that what employees want is the opportunity to develop new skills and experiences. Gone is the idea of a job for life (or employees for life). Great people want jobs where they can learn and increase their market value. Ironically, the more you invest in them, the longer you are likely to keep them and get the return on your investment.

3. PM

Of course, this isn’t a one-way street. Your business isn’t a charity for the development of employees. You also need to invest in a great performance management programme. This lets your people know what is expected of them and how they can shine and progress. It also means that you achieve the business objectives that will drive the growth and profit you’re looking for. It may seem like internal paper pushing, but done properly it will revolutionise the impact people have on a business.

4. Inspire

Clarity of objectives and strong development plans go a long way. But don’t under-estimate the power of inspiration and motivation. The very best leaders in business have been able to share their vision of an incredible future even when working out of their garages! There is something magical about feeling that you’re at the beginning of something amazing. Leaders who genuinely care for their people and are determined to create a great business can inspire high levels of loyalty and motivation. It’s a great investment to make!

5. Pay

Never skimp on pay. If people don’t deserve it, fire them. If they’re with you, pay them as well as you can.

Leaders for years have known that investing in people is one of the most vital investments a company can make. And while business may not about love, if you get it right, you’ll get very close!


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