The Big Squeeze

Focus on your best people

You need strong and competent management to realise higher margins and increased profitability.

Recruiting and retaining the best people has always been a priority, but in today’s climate, it has also become a very significant challenge. There are only so many good people available and talent shortages have become a real problem for many businesses. Employee expectations have also evolved, requiring a change of mindset from employers who have failed to keep pace. Today’s employees are driven by a sense of purpose. They expect to be treated with respect and for their co-workers to be treated with equal respect. They expect to be paid fairly, to be trusted with responsibility, and to have opportunities to gain new skills and for personal development.

Strong and effective leadership plays a huge part. Outdated management attitudes and practices have no place in the current world. Leaders need the ability to nurture the strengths and talents of their people and build teams committed to achieving common goals. The best leaders inspire excellence, communicate well and lead by example. They possess the essential traits of integrity, open-mindedness and consistency, and embody and reinforce the company’s culture and values.

Whilst much of this sounds obvious, surveys suggest that in reality very few employees feel they belong at their organization and even less feel strongly connected to its culture. Often, quite obvious things are missed or taken for granted. A well-organised induction programme shapes their first impressions of the business. Checking their interests aligned with the company’s, mapping-out a career development plan with them and making sure they understand and form part of your succession strategy all add to their sense of value and belonging.

More than ever before, leaders need to adopt a human-centred approach towards employee experience and recognise each individual’s value and contribution. Focusing on employee engagement will ensure that everyone understands how their role impacts the business and contributes to its wider goals. Winning comes from encouraging continual improvement and allowing people to embrace failure.

Portfolio Director