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Are staff issues holding back the growth of your business? (People. Part 1/4)

John Nelligan


In the UK 95% of businesses employ less than 10 people. Business owners often employ such a small number of people because they do not want the hassle of managing larger numbers of staff or that the owner has achieved a lifestyle they are comfortable with. But regardless of the number of people in a business the jobs we have a big impact on our health and wellbeing. The Labour Force Survey in 2007/08 found that an estimated 442,000 individuals in Britain believed that they were experiencing work related stress at a level that was making them ill. The FSB have recognised this and have a lot of useful information on wellbeing in the workplace in their wellbeing hub

So, regardless of the size of a business both the staff and the business can benefit from well-designed jobs with good line management, communication and job flexibility. Therefore, it’s worth thinking about the changes you can make.There are three basic steps to creating an efficient organisation structure, with open lines of communication, which will lead to an engaged workforce, and an environment in which the business will flourish in a stress-free manner:

Step 1. Develop an organisation structure for the business, allocate job functions and work out the next structure for the next stage of growth. This is often a major step, as business founders often gather around them acquaintances they can trust or family, who apply themselves to the businesses immediate needs. By having defined job functions and roles, ambiguity is removed, targets can be set, and the business can be organised to scale up.

Step 2. If you are going to move on from being a business where everyone is well known to each other, then formality must be introduced into managing the staff. There is legislation to contend with and in practice this cannot be complied with unless Step 1 has been carried out properly. But in addition to this the business owner will have their own values, and for the business to be successful the staff should share these values. Ensuring that there is consistency on this point needs to run through the staff management system

Step 3. A formulaic approach to managing staff is doomed to fail, staff consider themselves a number and will not be motivated to go the extra mile. When the purpose of the business, leadership and individual staff motivations are aligned, the business will be an exciting place to work and flourish. Finding ways to engage staff can be surprisingly cost effective and have very positive results.

In the following blogs I will expand upon the three steps but in the meanwhile, if you have ambitions to scale up your business, get back control of the staff or would like the staff to be more engaged please contact Business Doctors for a no obligation business health check to find out how we might assist.