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Posted by Sarah Brown on 19 Sept '16

Advice to businesses whose staff don’t seem to fulfil their potential

Why some businesses are frustrated with their staff and how to get the workforce of your dreams


It all starts so positively. You recruit good people, you’ve got systems in place, but as someone said to me the other day “it’s like leaving a classful of kids who misbehave when you’re away”.

You get frustrated and it gets worse as you show your annoyance. It might be that your staff don’t use their initiative, they just don’t do things the way you want, customer feedback shows service is inconsistent, they spend too much time on social media or chatting about Great British Bake Off or they just don’t fulfil the potential you originally saw in them.

Would it be different if you got rid of them and recruited others? It’s expensive and difficult and would they be in any better? Is it the recruitment process or is it just what should be expected!

If you talk to others you might get the view that this is the norm as in fact almost 70% of staff don’t feel engaged. But it doesn’t have to be this way as the Sunday Times Best companies to work for illustrates.

The top 5 secrets of getting the workforce you want

Get a workforce you love with these

1 Clear vision

A company with a clear inspirational vision will attract and retain staff who are inspired by that vision and deter people who aren’t inspired by it. You can also check during the recruitment process how people feel about it and how they think that they can help achieve it.

2 Clear values

Consistent application of values so everyone knows what makes them a hero or a villain in the organisation and they know how to act and behave, frees people to use their initiative, gives them confidence and improves morale as the consistency means everyone feels treatment is fair.

3 Understand and celebrate people’s uniqueness

While everyone needs to be travelling towards the same goal and following the same values, people will only be motivated if they are working in a way that suits them. Understand the unique abilities of your staff and play to them and they will be happy, fulfilled and very productive, force them to do things that are not naturally their method of working and they will underperform.

4 Match people to job roles

Following on from celebrating uniqueness, make sure the role fits the person. If someone likes structure give them a role with clear plans and systems and don’t keep changing the goals, if someone gets easily bored and likes new challenges don’t expect them to thrive in a role which is repetitive with clear plans.

5 Balance your teams

Successful companies have a mix of types of individual so don’t just recruit people who are all the same. Or if you do, you will need to outsource some of what needs doing in your company.

If you enjoyed this blog you might like to read these

How treating staff well could solve the UK’s productivity crisis and what staff want

Values can make you more profitable


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Tags: 21st century business staff engagement