We’re all familiar with startup capital and working capital, but how much do you value your human capital? Even with all the technology available today, human beings, the people who work for you and with you, are still the lifeblood of a small business. This is how you can place more value on your team to get more from them by simply making more of an investment in them.
Give your team the tools they need.
To get the most out of your people, the first thing you need to do is provide the tools that they need to do their job well. Many small businesses make quality resources and tools for their employees a low priority, and though they may still be able to barely get the job done, this is a mistake because for a small investment, you can get a good deal more output from employees.
If your small business is just getting on its feet, then it’s understandable that the money just isn’t there. When you have the means to invest in the best tools for your team, however, this is one area where you don’t want to cut corners.
Well-paid employees get more done.
Again, there are too many business owners who value their employees so little, that one of the first costs to be cut are wages. Workers who feel that they’re being taken advantage of, or can barely make ends meet, are only going to give you just about the bare minimum output.
Employees who are paid well and generally taken care of will be motivated to work harder, and even go above and beyond what is required of them. Not to mention that well-paid workers are happier and less likely to leave the company for greener pastures.
Get out of their way.
This is a tough one for some small business owners, but you should try your best not to micromanage your employees, as it is highly irritating and most of the time will only slow them down.
Some people need extra guidance no matter what position they have in the company, but the trick is to hire people in the first place who don’t. That way you can just give them all the resources and tools they need to do their job, get out of their way, and let them do the job that you hired them to do.
Depend more on your team than you do on technology.
Today’s technology affords us a lot time-saving software and gadgets to streamline a business’ daily operations and avoid the cost of hiring human beings to do the job, so the temptation can be strong to automate every aspect of your business.
The reason you may not want to use automation for everything is mainly because it can be a turnoff for your customers, and even be counterproductive in some cases. One perfect example of this is having an IVR (auto-attendant) on your phone system, that gives callers to your business an automated call menu, but no option to speak to a live person.
An IVR is an essential tool to manage phone calls, but you should always at least give callers the option to speak to an “operator” or live representative for any questions or issues not addressed by the automated menu.
If you rely more on your staff than computers to work with customers and clients, you will be rewarded with happier and far more loyal customers. The cold exchange between human and machine does not bring about any relationship between your business and its customers. The bottom line is that machines and software do not make the customer feel any real, familiar connection with your business.
The idea is not to do away with technology completely because it does make the experience more efficient and easier for the customer; the idea is to supplement human assistance with technology that is used as a tool to improve the interaction, rather than replace the human element entirely.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.