To be successful in business it is essential to have employees with the right skills who will play a pivotal role in achieving corporate goals. By aligning staff with established business objectives, you can ensure that they know how and why to use the skills they have.
Further, the investment you make in your employees – in terms of salaries and training – will be targeted, and will reflect the strategies needed to make the company successful.
It’s all about managing people. So how do you align staff with corporate goals?
Establish and use company plans and business objectives
The creation of solid business plans and establishment of company objectives is a challenge that can be quite time consuming. More importantly, once they have been established, managers often ignore these basic guiding principles simply because of daily pressures. So it is essential that the people in charge know and understand the company’s objectives; and appreciate how they relate to staff members in terms of roles and daily activities.
So the first thing you should do is analyse what your corporate objectives are. What are your goals? What have you achieved so far in terms of your original business plan? Where do you want to be in a years time; five years time; ten years time?
Determine essential skills required for success
Identify the vital roles that will be critical for successful growth and achievement. Then align these with positions within the business.
Clarify which skill sets are needed for the people who will undertake the vital roles you have identified. But be mindful of the fact that these might change as the business develops. They usually do.
Finally align people with positions.
Of course you might not personally follow this process, but it must be driven by upper management, or at least experienced executives with a keen understanding of how the business works. They should also have a determined resolve to ensure the business succeeds. In other words, whoever drives the process should have the same or better commitment that you, the business owner has.
Audit your existing talent
This might sound like a cattle auction, but really what it means is that you need to analyse the people in your existing workforce to identify whether (and what) skills are lacking.
Bearing in mind the fact that required skill sets do change within most businesses as they grow, it is quite possible that people in some positions have skills they aren’t using. Similarly, if the Peter Principle has come into play (where people have been “promoted up to their level of incompetence”), they may not have the skills required for that position.
Sometimes juggling jobs works. Or you may be able to identify employees with potential to use currently unused skills to help take your business forward.
In addition, you need to identify any skills gaps that can’t be realigned.
How to fill skills gaps
If you can’t realign people within the business, often the seemingly obvious way to fill skills gaps is to hire new people. But this means hiring additional staff, because in terms of Fair Work Australia, you cannot simply fire people because your skills needs have changed. So it is likely to become a financial issue.
A more viable solution is training, coaching or mentoring. And this should be an ongoing process to ensure that skills gaps don’t occur, or are at least identified immediately they occur so that you can constantly align staff with corporate goals and ensure they can fulfil them.