People are important to a business. More so, they are the critical element of every business. No matter how great the idea, you can't have success without great people. Everything in life is about execution. And people are the only things that can execute.
With that in mind, let's start a short series on attracting, qualifying, hiring, and retaining great employees. And the first place to start is perspective.
I worked with a company years ago that treated their employees like crap. They weren't trusted with access to the building, were made to keep detailed timesheets that tracked every moment of their business lives, and were Limited in the information they had on the business to the point where the only thing they could do was machine-like processing of paper tasks. And guess what, they hated their job, demonstrated little creativity, and held no loyalty to the business or customers they supposedly served. They simply punched their timecard, did exactly as they were told, and left at the strike of the last hour.
If you guessed this business wasn't very successful in the marketplace, you'd be right. I don't think it's coincidence. I think their success in the marketplace was a reflection of the limited creativity, lack of trust, and listless activity in their offices. You can't be dynamic in the marketplace if you're restrictive of creative energy in your offices.
I could go on and on, but let's get to the big point. You can't let your office run wild, which would be disastrous. You need to have rules, responsibilities, division of work and accountability. Equally disastrous is having a workforce that only knows their individual task and lacks the vision and trust to create, innovate, and serve customers.
The difference between success and failure is very often one or two people. Hire the best, treat them with respect, let them innovate, trust them to make decisions, and give them the opportunity to fail.
In the next post in this series I'll offer some tips on things your business can do to attract great employees.
What do you think? Are employees the most important part of a business? Can you have a robot-like staff and listless office environment and still be successful in the marketplace? Why?