Developing staff effectively

Content provided by a guest contributor.

Richard Branson can always be relied on to impart sage advice, but perhaps his most significant contribution was the statement, “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple”.

What is surprising is that while almost everyone agrees with this mantra, very few are able to put it into practice effectively.

Money-grubbing bosses aside, while many business owners do their level best to create an inspirational work environment, the pressures of bringing in clients and balancing the books every month can easily overshadow staff concerns.

There is certainly no malicious intent on the part of the business owner; it is simply that the burden of ensuring cash flow can weigh heavily on a person.

The key is to establish effective staff development indicators from the start. If everybody in the business understands that such structures exist, then the onus does not always have to fall on the boss to ensure they are being implemented. Staff development can also be delegated to a subordinate.

In order for staff to be inspired in their work, there are several key indicators that can be adhered to.


No employee wants to stay in the same job forever. Once they have settled into a company, they will start to seek out growth opportunities.

It is important that the business encourages employees to improve their station within the company, rather than settle for what they have. A strong indicator that management appreciates their professional ambition is the provision of staff training.

Even if the training does not immediately result in promotion, employees will value that they have been equipped with the requisite skills for a more senior role within the company. It is an acknowledgement by management that they have been earmarked for greater things.

Team ethos

All too often managers fall into the habit of loading staff with too much work in order to appease their bosses. They do not factor in that a department may be understaffed and is already operating at capacity – their sole aim is to deliver and look good in front of their superior.

This attitude is counter-productive, as staff will almost certainly not go the extra mile for someone who only serves their own self-interests. There is also the very real possibility that these employees will start looking for jobs elsewhere.  Rather, the manager should ask where they can lend support, and if need be, shift employees around so that each is doing work that is best suited to their strengths.

If people are comfortable in what they’re doing and they know their colleagues will help them, there is no doubt that employees will work together as a happy, cohesive unit.

Constant feedback

Employees dread annual assessments. The formal nature of one-on-one meetings with executives hardly represents the ideal opportunity to truly express oneself, primarily because the evaluation process directly impacts annual salary increases.

In order to truly develop the employee, they need to be given constant input on how they are performing, but notably in a far more informal way. Professionals in any work environment will usually not be averse to constructive criticism, as they appreciate that is the only way they’ll learn more about the job.

Provided the message is conveyed in a helpful way, they will take the information on board and assimilate it into their day-to-day operations. The opportunity to give their own feedback on what works and what doesn’t also benefits managements and the company as a whole.

No one should ever feel suppressed in giving their two cents’ worth.   

This article is provided by Kwelanga Training which provides staff training solutions to assist your business.

No votes yet