A talented and engaged workforce is one of the most valuable assets any company can possess. They are the engine that drives business success. Your employees are also responsible for the majority of customer interactions.
But while the influence of knowledgeable, helpful employees is positive, a few bad apples (or even good apples having a bad day) can cause problems for your company.
As a business owner or leader, your job is to spot and eradicate those problems before they take a toll on the business. Here are six of the key areas to focus on, along with the most effective solutions to prevent escalating damage.
Safety and security
Every employer has a responsibility to keep their workers, and their data, safe. But it’s vitally important for employees to understand and acknowledge their roles. For starters, over 90% of cyberattacks are caused by human error. All staff members should be aware of the latest phishing scams and digital threats. The company can support them by signing them up for the appropriate cybersecurity courses.
While digital threats have dominated the headlines in recent times, physical safety is even more crucial. When workers don’t use equipment safely, it can lead to broken machinery, personal injuries, and downtime. All of those issues will consequently harm your bottom line, which makes investing in the right tools and training essential.
As a practical matter, you have to be prepared to give employees a little autonomy and responsibility. Micromanaging every last decision will disrupt you from your work, as well as driving away your best people. It also leaves employees feeling disengaged from their tasks. Introducing business expense management software will help you maintain control of the situation. These end-to-end accounting and finance tools can record all transactions and control spending before it causes problems.
Habitual changes should be further supported by habitual changes. When an employee overspends, arrange a review to discuss it. If they can’t justify the expenses, disciplinary action may be required. Streamlining invoices and payment processing will also aid your company’s cash flow.
When recruiting new employees, no doubt you take great care in finding candidates with the talent and personality to thrive. However, business landscapes evolve at a rapid rate and skills can quickly become outdated. Whether it’s embracing remote work and hybrid work tech or learning to use automated manufacturing systems, your team must adapt with the times or your business will be left behind.
In addition to keeping employees trained, you need to keep machinery and equipment in good operating condition. Scheduled maintenance can help prevent downtime and fix issues that could harm productivity. Likewise, updating and upgrading assets at the right time can help keep employees motivated and productive.
Human interaction remains at the heart of all modern business matters, even when working in digital spaces. Sadly, the negativity caused by problematic staff members may affect their colleagues as well as client opinions. Employers must stay vigilant to issues like the signs of workplace bullying or passive-aggressive behavior and address those promptly. Otherwise, a toxic environment will translate to reduced productivity and profitability.
As with most aspects of business, the key is to strike a balance. Conversation about issues not related to work is vital to helping colleagues and customers build a rapport, but excessive chit-chat is distracting. Crucially, employers should stay positive too—it’s highly contagious.
Consistency is critical for business performance. For starters, it’s essential for helping you analyze data and forecast growth and expansion. So, it’s vital that you cultivate a culture where consistency is practiced both individually and collectively. Analytical tools and project management software can be very useful. Setting clear company policies and protocols also help.
When colleagues can pick up workflows or client activities with ease, you’ll see fewer delays or miscommunications. Above all else, it means that all customers receive fair treatment. In turn, this makes feel valued, which can lead to increased conversions and loyalty. Conversely, getting it wrong can cost you dearly.
Finally, it’s not only your existing employees who can cause damage. Former employees may cause reputational damage by disparaging the company online. You can significantly reduce the risks by staying on good terms. Alternatively, it is possible to have inaccurate negativity removed from websites. In some cases, you can also take legal action, especially if the employee signed a termination agreement.
Former employees may also try to damage your reputation while attempting to steal clients. With this in mind, it is important to protect your brand with non-disclosure agreements. When coupled with positive comments from happy employees and customers, your business will retain a positive brand image.