If your business is typical of most small to medium enterprises, approximately 60% of your total operating costs are earmarked for your workforce. So, how can you be sure you’re getting the best out of your team of super heroes and ROI for what is arguably your most substantial outlay?
To put it more directly: Are you getting the return you expected from your workforce spend?
Understanding your team dynamics
I have a saying, you need to ensure everyone in the organisation is “on the right seat of the bus”. Sometimes you may hire someone who is a great person, but they have been put on the wrong seat of the bus, or in a role that has them working against their natural working state. So how do you know? How do you get the best out of your team?
At SMART all of our team undertake the extensive DISC profile assessment. The DISC explores HOW we prefer to behave and communicate. The DISC model is a four-factor model that helps people understand and appreciate their own behavioural style, the style of others, and how to adapt their style to suit a situation or person. The 4 core DISC behaviours measured are:
There are some ‘basic’ online DISC profiles available, many even free, but we recommend undertaking the extensive DISC profile as this will provide feedback on all four behavioural factors, how they operate across the factors, and a lot more detail not just a summary of the person is a “D” profile. This is Shannon, so my ‘DOT’ highlights a “D” profile, no surprise there…. But it is the shading on the quadrants that tells the real story. My shading highlights I am an ‘I’, “C’ and “S”, that I drop into all of the profiles. We all operate at some stage in all 4 quadrants, it is just a matter of where we feel comfortable. Mine says I focus on bringing the team into my situations (this is the I/S coming out) to come up with a team approach, whilst also satisfying the deliverables (this is the D). And hey I couldn’t be an accountant if I didn’t enjoy dropping into the C profile could I! Before we hire new employees, we undertake the DISC profile so we can understand how we are going to get the best out of them. All team members also understand what each other’s DISC profile is so they too can understand how best to interact with their colleague. One example, one team members profile shows they do not like to be interrupted. So if you just walked up to this person, started talking and asking them technical questions about a client you could see their frustrations. From their perspective, someone has just interrupted me. Whereas if you said, “hey can I speak to you in 30 min regarding a client” their reaction would be completely different.
All the team at SMART love what they have learnt about themselves through the DISC Profile assessments, but also how they best deal with others to get a win-win. It has also been useful for them to ‘guess’ what they think a client is and adapt their approach to the client to get the best outcome when requesting information. We can assist you with getting your team to undertake the DISC profile, and also how to assess the results and communicate with the team. We often do this over a lunch where we educate your team on the 4 quadrants, and have a bit of fun with the team guessing where their colleagues sit, and how the team looks overall on the quadrants.
Identifying your HR pain points
If your answer to the above question is a “maybe” or resounding “no,” it may be time to consult with your HR manager or call in the services of an HR advisor. An HR expert can assist in highlighting the obstacles that are preventing you from achieving a satisfactory return from your workforce and then implement strategies to turn this situation around.
Ironically, one of the main stumbling blocks for business owners is not their employee’s productivity but the fact that they feel too much of their productive time is taken up managing their workforce. This is particularly true for SMEs whose owners are demonstrated to spend 70 to 80% of their time managing the people aspect of their enterprise, leaving them precious little time to focus on what they love doing, which was the reason they started the business in the first place.
Some other common HR pain points for SME owners are:
The latter point can present a significant hurdle for business owners. However, dismissing a staff member needn’t be a nightmare if robust processes are in place when he/she is hired. If you know exactly where you stand legally, you’re less likely to feel backed into a corner when it comes time to make the tough decision to let an employee go.
After all, no matter the cause for dismissal – whether it’s a case of the wrong values or cultural fit or something more unfortunate – you need to know you can get somebody, to quote Jim Collins, “off your bus” without it tearing you or your business apart.
Ultimately, getting your people management issues under control will afford your business greater protection, give your employees greater peace of mind, and enable you – as the business owner – to increase your efficiency and devote more of your valuable time to revenue-generating activities.
HR consulting is a specialised area and not something we are SMART do, but it is important to small business and we can recommend a HR specialist for you.
Are you struggling to keep your HR or staffing issues on track? What to undertake the DISC profile for your team? SMART Business Solutions can help you to better manage your workforce and ultimately boost your business ROI. Contact us today for more information.
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