What are the benefits of investing in staff?
By Joel Dandrea04 August 2022
At the end of the day, no matter the disruptions to our companies, as well as the overall industry, the most important asset we’ll ever have is our people. For that reason, the importance of prioritising employee development cannot be overstated. In fact, it’s the competitive advantage too often overlooked.
While the notion is true in any industry, perhaps it rings more impactfully within the trades, at a time in history when worker retention and workforce development is paramount to not just sustaining our industry but literally building the future.
As leaders, it’s on us to make the decisions about our people that will inevitably determine our success or failure.
Investing time, attention and other resources in your team members can help build a culture that values people. True to form, when business leaders respect the time and effort of their staff to the point where it’s engrained in the identity of the business, employees are more inclined to be thoughtful about the business.
Happier employees also achieve more out of life – which is good for business. They’re better positioned to fulfil their unique dreams, which might be financial, a specific role, or possibly a better work-life balance or mastering a specific skill.
Whatever it is, working at an organisation that invests in them has a ripple effect across their lives.
In addition, a happier workforce has a bigger, better impact on your company – probably even accelerating its success.
Indeed, while profit is a good measure of success, more broadly speaking, it’s also about creativity, efficiency and effectiveness – all of which are a by-product of building successful people. It directly impacts the bottom line.
How can better employee engagement improve business?
The key is to maximise employee engagement. People who are engaged and thinking critically about how to improve the business are your organisation’s best assets. It translates in several ways.
Better customer relationships: Your people are the face of your company to your customers. In every interaction, they’re making impressions about your company. When your people are motivated and positive, it strengthens the bond with customers. Conversely, if they’re unfulfilled or unhappy in their role, that lack of enthusiasm can be translated to the customer.
Innovation: Team members who get support, training and freedom are more likely to come up with new and better ways of working.
Revenue: Great customer relationships and innovation lead to higher revenues. Enthusiastic employees who are free to iterate and innovate often find more efficient ways to work. Increased efficiency gives employees more time to learn what customers need and to take on new projects. That can lead to new ideas, new products and new revenue streams.
Equally important: Employees who are happy with their workplace are also less likely to leave, which reduces hiring costs and contributes to higher profits.
Not everyone in your organisation will be customer-facing but they will interact with the wider community in some way. When your employees talk about work with their neighbours and friends, do they have positive things to say? That can strengthen your company’s reputation as a great place to work.
Investing in employees
It also can’t be overstated, as employee retention becomes a more pressing issue across all sectors, investing resources in the people who power your organisation makes employees less likely to jump ship.
All said, employee satisfaction does not begin and end with compensation. Money is always an important factor but if the pandemic has taught businesses anything, it’s that fostering an environment that provides opportunity and creates a sense of belonging, pride and respect amongst employees is often far more important.
Ultimately, any company is only as good as the people powering it.