5 Reasons Why Investing In Your Staff Makes For Better Business

As a business owner or manager, you’ve probably come to realise that your team is one of the most important resources your company has. Keeping staff content is a challenge in itself, but keeping them motivated is even harder. Various studies have shown that employees are loyal to an employer that empowers them and invests in their development. Money is important as well, certainly, but very often it is further down the list of an employee’s priorities.

One of the best tools to keep motivation high is training. However, as many business owners would agree, training is an expense that doesn’t always fall high on our list of priorities. Fortunately, the Investing in Skills scheme, administered by Jobsplus, can help to significantly reduce the cost of training to all local businesses. Here are just a few reasons why investing in your staff is a smart move:

1. Empower your staff

The term empowerment might seem like a loaded word, but it simply means allowing your employees to have a certain level of authority within the business. An employee might be empowered to take executive decisions wisely, for instance changing suppliers when a better and more efficient deal becomes available. Giving such authority to employees requires prior training, such as in communication and creative thinking. One of the benefits of empowerment is that it frees up time for the company’s management to focus on the bigger picture.

2. Introduce new skills

A business which does not recruit new staff for a while can easily become stuck in its ways. This could make it less prone to change and innovate, which might damage its long-term sustainability. Training can help prevent this. Staff members can be taught new skills which allow them to re-think their existing processes and products. Such skills can come from informal training or accredited courses and help prepare the business for future challenges.

3. Show staff your appreciation

You spend more time with your staff than you probably do with your family. That’s exactly why it’s very important that you show them your appreciation for their efforts and ideas. By giving them training opportunities you are giving them a life-long gift which has more value than any bonus. Allow your staff to suggest training which they would like to have, and be open to new ideas. Training on entrepreneurship, for example, might seem like an unusual choice. However, it is a course which teaches problem-solving, project management and new business opportunities. Skills any manager would want his staff to have, right?

4. Your customers will thank you

Your staff probably meet your customers more often than you do. It makes sense that they have all the necessary customer service and stress management training they could have. There is nothing that irritates a customer more when a question is posed and a business representative stares blankly back. The founder of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson has repeatedly said, “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.”

5. Expand beyond your comfort zone

Training is, in itself, a form of networking. A classroom setting allows interaction between employees to be less formal and helps develop the team spirit, especially in larger enterprises. There is also interaction with the trainer, who may be an outsider, and might pass on solutions the business offers to other contacts. Joint training with other companies also encourages partnerships and new opportunities.

If you would like to learn more about how you could benefit from the Investing in Skills scheme, where you could save up to 70% of the eligible training costs, get in touch. Our team is ready to assist you in getting the necessary grants and can also help you identify the right training for your staff.

4 Benefits of Prioritising Communication in the Workplace

Communication is Crucial

Running a business is no easy feat. When your team is made up of individuals with distinct personalities and multi-faceted professional experience, you stand to learn a lot as a business owner and as a person. Something I’ve learnt that has helped me manage my team better is taking the time to speak to each employee about things that matter – be it the last report they submitted or what they got up to over the weekend.

Whether you’re a family-run operation like NM Group or a huge, international corporation, fostering strong verbal and non-verbal communication is a key part of what it takes to run a successful company that can conquer the test of time. But what makes communication so important? Here are four valuable benefits of good workplace communication that I’ve discovered over the years:

1. It builds better teams

Encouraging clear, consistent communication in the office helps employees and managers alike to foster happier, more efficient teams. When coworkers feel comfortable expressing their professional opinions, it makes it that much easier to share ideas, brainstorm, and collaborate on projects that could boost the company’s profile in a big way. Encouraging communication creates a better atmosphere for offering and receiving constructive criticism which, in turn, leads to further professional development.

2. It improves employee morale

When colleagues and managers communicate more effectively, they feel happier as a result of the simple fact that they feel understood and more in-sync with the rest of the team. A positive atmosphere is a truly invaluable resource, and has a major role in crafting the kind of company culture that attracts and retains talent. Making this happen might mean tackling issues that may seem inconsequential on a large scale, but actually affect your employees’ moods on a day-to-day basis. Don’t forget – happy employees mean happier, more satisfied clients and customers!

3. It increases transparency

Opening the gates of communication is the key to strengthening trust between employees, departments, and across different levels of management. One way of building that trust is to be as transparent as possible when it comes to letting employees know how the company is faring, and what’s going on in the industry as a whole. Transparency means being proud of ‘the good’, while being able to acknowledge and evaluate ‘the bad and the ugly’ too; talking to employees about the company’s weaknesses – as well as its strengths –  is a great way to make every member of the team feel included, while providing a benchmark against which progress can be measured and enjoyed.

4. It helps new recruits feel welcome

Encouraging clear communication ultimately creates the kind of company culture that professionals look for and enjoy working in. An office that communicates well is one that helps employees – new and old – to feel at ease collaborating, asking for help, and offering assistance to their coworkers.

We’re always on the lookout for new talent – if you think you’d be a good fit at NM Group, we’d love to hear from you!