Your guide to harnessing the potential of your personnel

My experiences in business have taught me that having a skilled, dedicated team around you is essential if you are to achieve your goals. Without talented and effective people by your side, it can prove impossible to realise your ambitions. With this in mind, I’ve put together a brief guide to help you harness the potential of your personnel.

Invest in training

All the best business leaders understand the crucial role that effective training plays within companies. By providing your personnel with all the support and coaching they need, you can help ensure they are able to perform their roles effectively and confidently. Bear in mind that training opportunities shouldn’t be reserved for new starters. It’s important to offer employees the chance to enhance their knowledge and skills on an ongoing basis.

Reward good work

Rewarding good work is also essential. People are much more likely to stretch themselves and go above and beyond the basics of their job requirements if they know they will be recognised for their efforts. As well as praising people on an informal basis, it’s useful to have official procedures in place to recognise good work, such as employee awards and prizes. Providing people with opportunities for promotion and pay rises that reflect their diligence and skill is vital too. If workers feel as though their input is valued, they are more likely to remain focussed and loyal.

Put effective communication procedures in place  

Another way to nurture talent within your company is to set up effective two-way communication procedures – and regular appraisals should play an important role in this. These sessions can help people to identify their strengths and weaknesses and they foster a culture of accountability and openness. People are likely to feel happier and perform better if there is an established system in place for getting guidance and feedback. Your personnel should also feel confident about approaching their line managers if they spot any problems. If they know they can raise concerns with senior members of staff, employees can help ensure that any issues are tackled before they escalate and potentially do damage to your business.

Provide a clear company message

Providing personnel with a clear company message that they can relate to and get behind is vital. When people understand that they are working towards a common goal and feel as though they are part of a team, they tend to be more enthused and energised about their work. Having a clear brand message and communicating this to your staff members is essential if you are to achieve this – and you can reinforce the sense of cohesion by organising team building days and other corporate events.

By following guidance like this and harnessing the full potential of your personnel, you stand to make your business stronger and more successful.

Chris Niarchos is the founder and chairman of the Cobra Group of Companies, which includes AGS Global Fundraising Services. You can find out more about Chris Niarchos’ charity fundraising by visiting the AGS Global Fundraising Services website.

4 ways to future-proof your firm

Starting a company can be difficult enough, but the real challenge is ensuring that your business stands the test of time. According to research conducted by Professor Richard Foster at Yale University, the average lifespan of a business listed in Standard & Poor’s 500 index of leading US companies fell from 67 years in the 1920s to 15 years in 2012. However, as I know from my own experience as a business leader, there are effective ways to future-proof your company. Following are four tactics that could help you to increase the longevity of your enterprise.

1) Keep tabs on emerging technology trends

Technology is progressing at a phenomenal rate and so to ensure you don’t get left behind, it’s crucial that you keep tabs on emerging trends within your sector. By making sure you have access to the most up-to-date and efficient equipment and systems available, you can reduce the risk that your rivals will gain a competitive advantage over you. Making sure you have the best possible resources does require investment, but this will be money well spent if it prevents your company from losing relevance and being side-lined by more forward looking competitors.

2) Take steps to protect your brand

The internet – and particularly social media – means it’s now easier than ever to spread the word about your products or services and to build up your brand. However, the web also means that news of bad customer experiences can spread quickly. If you don’t take careful steps to protect your business’ reputation, you could find that your image is badly damaged within a very short space of time. This means it’s more important than ever to ensure that each customer has a positive experience when they deal with your business.

3) Nurture the talent within your team

Your personnel are likely to be your most valuable asset. Their hard work, expertise and insight could help to steer your firm to continued success. However, to ensure you make the most of the talent within your team, you’ll need to take steps to nurture it. This involves providing people with suitable training, rewarding good work and making sure personnel have access to appealing career opportunities. Doing these things should mean you are able to attract and retain the best personnel – and it will help the people within your organisation to fulfil their potential.

4) Don’t let nostalgia get in the way of progress

There’s a certain reassurance that comes from maintaining continuity within a business. However, it’s vital that you don’t allow nostalgia to get in the way of progress. If they aren’t up-to-scratch, everything from your day to day operating procedures to your marketing techniques and branding may benefit from an overall. Making major changes to the way your company does things may pull you out of your comfort zone, but it could help you to sustain long-term success.

Following advice like this should help you to make your business more robust and it could enable you to outlast your rivals.