Your guide to ensuring that your line managers are improving performance:

It doesn’t take a business guru to tell you that if you want your company to thrive, you need to make sure that your staff are firing on all cylinders. Of course though, as is often the case when it comes to the tricky business of managing people, this can be much easier said than done.

If you want to achieve big things, you need clear and effective processes in place to help you to get there. Your line managers play a huge role in creating a productive and high-performing culture, and you need to ensure that you’re driving them in the right direction.

Here, we share some of our tips for encouraging your line managers to step into their roles and play an active part in improving performance.

Create procedures that underpin your objectives

Your line managers can often only operate within the constraints that you provide them with. If you want them to excel in particular areas, you need to create a framework that allows them to do so. For this reason, it’s important that you consider what you already have in place that helps staff to reach their full potential.

Do you have a policy that outlines how often and in what format performance discussion should happen? Is there something in place that ensures the work is being carried out? Who ultimately chases things up to ensure that procedures are being followed? It’s not necessarily about ticking boxes, but you do need to create systems that encourage the day-to-day tasks to be carried out.

Give your managers the confidence and skills they need to have meaningful discussions

Unfortunately, making sure that performance discussions are taking place is only the first hurdle. It’s not so much about frequency, as it is about the quality of the conversations that are happening.

At the end of the day, talking about performance and addressing areas of concern can be daunting, even for the most experienced line managers. It’s important that you give them the opportunity to hone their skills, and to keep developing them on a regular basis. Consider how you can do this within your business. It may be the case that you need to roll out some training sessions, or perhaps you need to have your own one-on-one discussions with your management team so you can better understand how you can support them.

Encourage your managers to facilitate career development in their teams

Performance management isn’t just about fixing problems and making sure that the work gets done within a specified frame of time. It’s about looking ahead towards the future and ensuring that your business has the right kind of talent to drive operations forward and achieve growth.

The key takeaway here is that if your employees aren’t being given a chance to flourish, they’re likely to start looking elsewhere. Do you really want to lose your talented members of staff to your competitors? Be sure that your line managers are having open and honest conversations with their direct reports about where they see themselves in the next five years, and that information is taken seriously and considered when it comes to planning the direction of the business as a whole.

If line management capability is something that you want to improve, we can help. We believe that successful businesses are created when leadership teams are given the tools they need to excel. Contact us for an initial discussion about how we could bring our practical approach to your business.

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Website: www.TheWorkforceConsultants.com

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Are you really getting the most out of your HR practices? Find out here how to raise the bar:

As a small business owner, you probably started your own business because you’re passionate about bringing your product or service into the world, and providing a much-needed solution for your customers and clients.

This people management stuff – it’s not necessarily what you signed up for. Call it a necessary evil if you like, but the fact remains that if you want to grow a thriving business, you can’t get away from it. You need practices, procedures, and policies in place that ensure that you’re hitting the mark and developing the right kind of team to guarantee your future success.

If you take your finger off the pulse or let the grass grow under your feet, you could find yourself with problems that have been deeply embedded into your company’s culture, and these can be extremely difficult (not to mention expensive) to fix.

Wondering whether this might apply to you? Recognizing that you might not be firing on all cylinders is the first step towards fixing any issues and turning things round.

Here, we ask some questions about where you currently are, so you can start to establish where you might need to make changes.

Are you suffering from high turnover rates?

Recruiting good staff can be expensive. Giving them the skills and developmental support that they need to excel in their roles can prove to be costly, too. In an ideal world, this is an investment rather than a cost. But if your staff are deciding to move on to new pastures, this can be a huge problem.

You’re likely to notice the impact on the bottom line, and it may well be the case that you’re also damaging your employer brand. If too many people are leaving, the word will get around, and people will start to ask why. This could lead to you struggling to attract top talent in the future.

Are you unsure about whether you’re really meeting your legal obligations?

All business owners know that they need to be compliant with relevant employment legislation. When push comes to shove though, are you confident that you’re meeting your obligations? If you’re not, the nagging concern that something could go wrong is likely to constantly be at the back of your mind.

If you found yourself in a situation in which you weren’t fulfilling your requirements, it could prove to be devastating. Often, all it takes to ensure that you’re where you need to be is some advice from a professional. The peace of mind that this can bring can be worth its weight in gold.

Are you struggling to meet your overarching business goals?

HR is no longer about handing out cups of tea and sympathy. Robust HR practices will always be in line with wider company objectives, and they’ll actively help your business to get to where you want it to be. Take a second to think about what HR looks like in your business, and whether it’s really fulfilling its potential.

Do your practices improve productivity? Do they encourage your staff to be the best that they can be, and reward them accordingly? Do they play a significant role in facilitating business growth? If not, you’re missing out.

Though the points we’ve discussed here are really just the tip of the iceberg, they’ll hopefully give you plenty to think about. If you’re falling behind, the main thing to remember is that action is the only thing that will help you to remedy the problems. The sooner you decide that enough is enough, the better.

Give us a call today!

Website: www.TheWorkforceConsultants.com

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Think you need to recruit to grow your business? Make sure you’ve assessed ALL your options!

There comes a time in the working lives of many business owners when they think that recruitment is their only option. Orders are increasing, profit is looking extremely healthy, and they’re keen to expand and take things to the next level. Sound familiar?

At this stage, it’s likely that your nearest and dearest are urging you to take the plunge and bring on your first member of staff.

Of course, it should go without saying that you should rarely turn to friends and family for business advice. They might have the best intentions in the world, but they’ll very rarely understand the real challenges that you’re facing. If you want real, insightful guidance that can be used strategically to grow your business, you’re probably going to have to invest in professional consultancy services.

Generally speaking though, there are some important indications that you’re ready to recruit. It’s a big decision and it isn’t one you should enter into lightly. Pull up a chair and take a browse through these real reasons why it could be time to become the big boss.

Building and managing a team is in line with your overall business objectives

Think about what you really wanted to achieve from your business when you first started, and the type of company that you wanted to develop. Maybe you envisaged managing a team of hundreds of people, and playing an active role in strategic growth and development. Or perhaps what you really cared about was fulfilling your passions, and doing work that made a difference to the lives of your customers and clients.

There are no right or wrong answers here, but the truth of the matter is that people management isn’t for everyone. If you don’t have the desire to recruit, there are other options. You could outsource administrative and financial functions. You could bring in a contractor for certain months of the year. You could redesign your processes so many of them are automated, letting you deal with the work that you really care about and excel in.

Don’t be forced into feeling that the traditional recruitment route is the only avenue you can take. Explore the possibilities, and always return to your overall objectives and preferences before you back yourself into a corner that you don’t want to be in.

You’re willing to put time into developing yourself as a team manager

Whether or not you have a naturally ability to lead, recruiting staff for the first time is a steep learning curve. You suddenly have to get to grips with what makes people tick, how you can get the most out of them, how to handle bumps along the road, and ultimately, how to improve your leadership skills on a daily basis.

You need to be willing to invest time into this, and get the right type of support to help you along the way. From one-off courses to continuous mentorship, there are options that ensure you have what you need and can pinpoint your areas for improvement. There’s the option to outsource necessary tasks such as the creation of your company handbook and associated people policies, but it’s as much about developing the right kind of culture as it is about meeting your legal responsibilities as an employer.

You’ve examined the figures, and you know that recruitment would build your business

Some business owners are naturally very data orientated, and have no problems telling you their exact figures and projected big numbers. If this isn’t your strong point though, you need to do some careful calculations before you make any decisions around recruitment. Think about what it would cost to grow your team. As well as the salary, consider the investment that would be required in finding and selecting the right people, onboarding them, and then ensuring they have the right ongoing training and development.

Next, think about what you’d reap from that investment. Would your business produce more? Would you offer a higher level of customer service? Would it give you the capacity to move into new markets or areas? Only when you really understand the financial implications are you ready to make your decision.

The bottom line is that recruitment is certainly an option, and it’s right for some businesses. For others though, there needs to be some careful brainstorming and analysis before any big decisions are made. If you want to talk through your choices, get in touch today.

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Website: www.TheWorkforceConsultants.com

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Are your staff too busy thinking about the holidays at the moment? Here’s how to turn things round:

That time of year is here again. Holidays are being booked, the weather changing, and workers across the country are looking forward to a bit of well-deserved time away from their desks.

But while many people will be worrying about how much they can squeeze into their luggage allowance and whether last year’s clothes still fit, many business owners will have a more pressing concern. As temperatures start to change, how do you ensure that the season doesn’t have a negative impact on productivity?

As always, we’re here to help with some practical suggestions. Read on to find out more about what you can do to ensure that you’re doing all you can to avoid any problems.

Organize the holiday schedule in advance

If you find yourself in a situation whereby 50% of your employees are off at the same time, it’s quite likely that you’re going to run into difficulties.

Obviously, it might be a bit late to get this sorted out for this year, but it’s definitely worth taking the time to think about how you’ll approach the working calendar next year. As well, it won’t be long before you’ll have to start thinking about how you’ll manage your staff over the next holiday period, so you can probably take away some very important lessons.

Bring the holiday feeling to your office

When the weather changes and there are – let’s face it – many other things that your employees would rather be doing than sitting in the office, it could be worthwhile to think about how you can raise spirits and inject a bit of oomph back into proceedings. If some members of staff are away on holiday, you can ensure that those who are left behind aren’t feeling deflated and demotivated.

Your approach here needn’t cost you a fortune, and there are many options for you to choose from. Could you contact a nearby personal trainer and ask them to lead an indoor or outdoor workout for your staff? Small gestures can make all the difference.

Give your HR processes an overhaul

It’s natural that there will be certain times of the year when you notice a change in productivity. Sometimes, slight fluctuations are unavoidable, and you need to simply do all you can to minimize the impact. If reduced productivity has become a longstanding problem though, it’s time to address the reasons why, and do something about it.

Your people processes and procedures will often provide you with clues, and they can also be the remedy. Is your business suffering as a result of poor management practices? Are you using outdated systems? Are your employees dissatisfied with certain aspects of their roles, or the way in which the business is being operated?

An overall HR health-check could be exactly what you need to start making some positive changes. We’d be delighted to have an initial chat with you about how we could help.

Give us a call today!

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