It seems like every quarter, as of late, confidence for business owners continues to grow. But with this same confidence, there are some distinct challenges. And now, more than ever, it’s a time where businesses, who don’t want to get left behind, should be taking a look under the hood. Because for those businesses who seemingly had a head start in this current economy, they already have.
Building off our previous article, “Small Business Must Do This In A Good Economy”, let’s take a further look under the hood at key areas that can set your business apart for sustained and successful days ahead. In this, we ask, “How are you poised to leverage current trends to ensure your infrastructure is built to support sustained growth and success?”
So, as confidence continues to soar, for the many businesses that haven’t yet left the ground, let’s discuss three areas every small business should audit to help you to take flight and build on success.
But first, let’s talk culture and what people want so that we can effectively set course.
What’s Your Psychological Contract?
The Harvard Business Review recently published a piece that covered the 3 things employees really want. In what is known as a psychological contract with workers, this contract offers three distinct areas that reflect what employees want in their employment:
Having a job in an environment that cultivates a culture of learning and development as well as one that allows the employee to operate within their strengths is crucial.
In his classic 1951 book, The True Believer, author Eric Hoffer discusses the passions for the masses as being that people want a sense of equality and a sense of belonging. This is at the core of what employees want in a community. People want to feel cared about, respected, and recognized by others.
Employees want purpose. Employees want to know and feel that they are doing something that is making a positive impact in the world. What is your company’s mission? How well do your employees identify and reflect the mission? Connecting employees to tangible ways for them to have pride in what they are doing is a critical aspect in today’s world.
For businesses that offer this psychological contract with their employees, as well as seek to consistently steward it, often times, the result will be the right employees seeking you, rather than you having to find them.
Now that we have established what a psychological contract with your employees could look like and why it’s important, how else should business be looking under the hood right now?
3 Areas Of Alignment That Business Must Execute
Alignment in business is crucial and doing it with consistency is equally imperative. As confidence soars for business owners, here are three areas of operation that will thrive when aligned and executed effectively, but will stall out when left unattended.
Staffing: Who’s On Your Team?
CNBC and Survey Monkey has reported that a growing amount of businesses plan to increase their workforce during the year ahead. Yet with this plan for growth, there is concern. With record unemployment rates, one challenge is finding the right personnel.
Now, more than ever, should be a time to clearly identify your gaps so that with specifics, you can then identify what you are looking for in a candidate. For certain, it is a highly competitive market, but don’t get caught up in a thought process that you can’t compete because a competitor or larger company can pay more.
Think about that psychological contract and what else you offer in a work experience. Often times, it’s the sum of the whole, when lived out in action, that will be the greatest asset for attracting the right people.
Who Do Customers Say You Are? The Experience
Having the right employees doesn’t mean a thing unless these same employees are not providing a consistently refreshing experience for your customers and prospects.
For businesses that provide sound and effective training initiatives for new hires as well as continued opportunities to grow knowledge base for existing ones that go beyond a game of telephone, this will ensure the experience your audience gets is always positive, consistent, and memorable. Sadly, these types of customer experiences are few and far between these days. Of all the places you did business with this past week, which ones do you remember and why?
If you have a training program established, is it effective? When was the last time you conducted an audit of both training program as well as those employees you have entrusted to do the training? Again, is it or are they effective?
Checking boxes does not always equate to consistently providing your customers with positive, consistent, and memorable experiences. As consumer confidence grows, now would be that time to shore this up. With so many options for consumers these days to go elsewhere, cultivate the right culture, hire the right people, and provide the best training.
Because, chances are, the businesses that are already way ahead of the pack, already have.
Do You Do What You Say You’ll Do?
The experience matters, and of all line items not found on a profit and loss statement that can impact the bottom line the most, experience would be one of them. Cultivating a positive experience is crucial for long-term success and quite frankly, when executed well, can also gain some much-needed wins in the short-term.
In business, everyone dreams of momentum. But too few are willing to do the work to establish and build the traction needed to get to a place of momentum.
Does Your Experience Match Your Marketing?
As we’ve discussed, if there is one thing that can erase the social capital accrued from a good consistently executed marketing strategy, it’s a bad customer experience. But like most businesses today, this bad experience can not only come from poor customer service, it also can come from a poor online presence.
How well does your online efforts align with the offline experience you are providing for employees, prospects, and customers? Furthermore, does your online presence consistently and effectively live up to the organizational expectations you have in place?
No longer can who you are online take a back seat to who you aspire to be offline. And who you are offline must live up to who you say you are online. In this day and age, this is a big one and with businesses looking to add additional staffing in the days to come, it is absolutely mission-critical that businesses also seek to add the right professionals to execute their online experience, as well.
Is Your Business Poised To Soar?
Finding consistent alignment in these three core areas of your business will breed success and will lead, overtime, to soaring towards new heights as a business. But, it is not a set it and forget mindset that will keep you there. Stay on it and stay hungry. Your mission depends on it.
So, again, we ask, “How are you poised to leverage current market trends and consumer as well as business confidence to ensure your infrastructure is built to support sustained growth and success?”
How can Eng@ge help you take flight? Find out here.