What is your company’s biggest asset? Is it your most expensive piece of equipment? Is it a mechanism on your production line that helps you become more efficient? Whether you’re an automobile manufacturer or produce precision screws, dies or pumps, you’re still going to have the same answer to the question: your staff is your company’s biggest asset.
Why? Put simply, your profitability depends on the effectiveness of your workforce. The success of virtually every aspect of your organization relies on a strong team. Think about productivity. Confucius has a famous quote, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” An employee who enjoys his or her job and loves the company will work harder. Instead of just “going through the motions”, he or she will look for ways to improve efficiencies and become more innovative.
Unfortunately, many employers overlook the importance of employee retention efforts. This has become an increasing concern in the business community. Just recently at the Conference Board’s CEO Challenge 2013, a survey of senior executives named “human capital, or how best to develop, engage, manage and retain talent, as their lead challenge.” A recent survey from CareerBuilder relayed that “68% of employers are worried about losing employees”.
With the beginning of 2013 right behind us, now is the perfect time to focus on strengthening your workforce. Here are three key areas to focus on:
- Introduce more employee engagement initiatives: Implement more initiatives to demonstrate employee appreciation. The resources may not be available to increase salaries or provide more bonuses, but try to find additional ways to support your employees emotionally. More regular employee evaluations may provide the opportunity to give positive feedback. Creating more forums where employees can communicate honestly, and without repercussions, shows you care about their concerns.
- Ensure “buy-in” on projects: Implementing improvement projects should be on your radar this year. Whether it is to become more lean or expand your market share, you can’t grow your business if your staff isn’t on board. Make sure your staff understands why improvements are being made and how the changes benefit them. It will make them feel a part of the decision making process and motivate them to sustain changes.
- Encourage employee vacations: Employee burnout diminishes productivity and can ultimately lead to turnover. By encouraging your employees to take their allotted vacation time, they can recharge and come back with a more clear and positive outlook. A survey from Harris Interactive found that 57% of workers don’t use up all of their vacation time.
As you jump into 2013 and make goals to become more profitable, it’s important that your workforce is along for the ride. A strengthened workforce is more productive, innovative and efficient.