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Business + IT Insights

Targeting Company Growth: Are You Considering Your People?

Posted by Dave Lazor on Thu, Mar 19, 2015

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Here at Lazorpoint, we’ve written a lot about how smart technology fuels company growth. However, even the best technology falls short when people, the backbone of any business strategy, aren’t leveraged effectively. If your company has trouble hitting growth metrics, consider the human element.

At your next planning session, make sure your consider your “who” before “what”.

Don’t think “what” – think “who.”

Often, growth-seeking companies drive their business in a new direction before they consider the skills and experience that team members bring to the table.

Think about the people on your team: Are they self-motivated? Passionate about doing better business? Do they think creatively, pursue new ideas and tap unrealized potential? If your team is built on credentials and criteria alone, with little emphasis on character and potential, your business may grow legs – but it won’t soar.

Align your talent, no matter how difficult.

Jim Collins, a prominent leadership expert, addresses the importance of effectively leveraging employees in his international bestselling book, Good To Great. Collins’ research attributes the success of several high-profile companies to an innate, unshakeable focus on the human element, which guides business direction as well as operational elements like processes, tactics and structure.

Taking a company from “good to great” starts by acknowledging change is necessary to succeed, effectively matching employees with positions that allow them to flourish and facilitate that change and removing ineffective employees from organizations entirely.

Shaking up the status quo and removing the underperformers is never easy. But, to grow, every company must experience some pain. Have a long, inward look and determine the hard changes that need to be made. Then, make them.  

Know the talent market and hire intelligently.  

If you determine that your company needs fresh blood to attain growth, it’s imperative that you understand job market fluctuations. For example, top-tier IT support professionals are increasingly difficult to acquire, given the sharply rising demand for their services.

Also understand that talent often goes beyond words on a resume. Structure your interviews to capture not just skill, but also character. Employees are more than workers – they are partners, stakeholders and idea generators. Attitude, intrinsic motivation and trustworthiness are fundamental, sometimes more so than previous experience or alma mater.

For instance, think about your employees.  Would you hire someone who completes rote tasks ahead of schedule but requires extensive direction and doesn’t bring new ideas to the table, or one who takes their time, finishes on time and is always looking for ways to innovate?

The executive concerned only with deadlines and workflow would choose the first candidate, while the executive with a greater long-term vision would choose the second, thinking about the potential candidate’s broader value.

Emphasize discipline.

Companies seeking success must develop a culture of discipline at all levels of the organization, from the front desk to the boardroom. Consistent, good practices improve operational efficiency immensely, thereby benefiting company and revenue growth.

However, an effective, disciplined culture doesn’t come from rules and regulations. Once again, success depends on your people (sensing a theme, here?). If you don’t have the right people, your growth efforts will eventually fall short.

Skills and certain traits are teachable, but character isn’t. If your workforce is lacking in character, there aren’t enough workshops, seminars and mandatory guidelines in the world to effect real, positive change. Save time and frustration by having a team as passionate about the success of the company as you are.

Explosive company growth doesn’t happen overnight. As a business leader, your approach must incorporate a firm understanding of your organization’s people, a resolve to make hard, necessary decisions and a culture of discipline. If it doesn’t, your strategies, tactics and technologies – no matter how well designed – will inevitably struggle.

Want more advice on growing your company with best-in-class technologies and software solutions? Connect with a Lazorpoint PointMan™ and receive a free consultation on how to drive smart IT to help reach your business objectives.

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Tags: Business Growth

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