Take Good Care Of Your Employees…

Image courtesy Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As a Business Management specialist, I have had to do series of study on business resources and secrets of business success. In all my studies and work, I have always come to the knowledge that the most important of business resources and the major secret of business success is not the sophisticated technology in place, the strong connections, the amount of financial power of the business owner or what have you. Rather that every business success or failure, hinges on the human resources available at his disposal.

A friend once said that the reason one of the banks here in Nigeria was doing well more than the others was because of the sophisticated technology it had put in place, especially in the area of internet banking. I said No ! I do not agree. To start with, those equipment were suggested by the staffers of the bank. It takes the staffers to make the machines operational. It also takes the staffers to tackle problems when they occur. Without humans the machines will forever be what they are – machines !!!

In all sectors of the economy workers are not treated as the goose that lays the golden eggs. What you have is mass exploitation of workers and in some cases, a complete disregard for generally acceptable standards for human treatment. Ranging from high rate of retrenchment/dismissals to inhuman treatments to unreasonable working hours to working-365 days a year to zero-welfare schemes, and very unreasonable salaries. The golden goose has been turned to the one that only lays the golden egg and it ends there ! Should it be so?

In such  organisations, there is very low morale, low productivity, high tendency to cheat or defraud the organisation, very low dedication and loyalty from employees, constant grumbling and dissatisfaction, very low tendency to be creative and very high staff turnover.

However, thumbs up for those organisations that see and treat their workers as truly the geese that lay the golden eggs and therefore have to be well nurtured for better production. These organisations are noted for excellent welfare policies (all of these or most of it) – free meals, all-expense-paid holiday trips, free accommodation, staff bus services, subsidized acquisition of home appliances, bonuses, excellent health services, scholarship for children of employees, humane treatment of emloyees, excellent award/reward system and salaries that makes vacancies to be very scarce in such organisations, amongst others.

Such organisations have very high staff loyalty, highly motivated work force, high productivity, creativity, dedication to service by employees and very low or insignificant staff turnover. Except for very strong reasons, why would one want to leave such organisations ?

I am one of those who see staff welfare expenses as investments, because that is exactly what it is. This is always an investment that always yields good returns. If you want to find out the results of having or not having a good welfare policy in place in an organisation, check out those organisations that either have them or do not have them in place. The results are so easy to see.

Thanks for your time.

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Outsmart your competitors or they will kick you out of business

Oshodi market is a very popular market in Lagos, Nigeria. There, you can find almost everything to buy. Like every other market, there are many people selling similar items. What this translates to is that survival is for the fittest.

ImageA few days back, I had to go and do last minute shopping for my family for the Christmas celebration. The tempo in the market was unsurprisingly high as there were so many other last minute shoppers like myself. The traders too were at their best trying to outsmart one another to sell their products. traders used all sort of means to get customers’ attention – pulling customers, singing, cracking jokes, impromptu discounts offers and even making a mockery of themselves – all in a bid to sell their products. One thing was noticeable – traders who were very good at appealing to or wooing customers made a lot of sales. I had to stop by some trading spots, not because I wanted to, but because I was persuaded to by the very appealing tactics applied by the concerned traders. I was not the only one that so persuaded.

However, in a sharp contrast was a particular trader who simply stood there and held out his wares without making attempts to appeal to or woo customers to his spot. Instead, he stood there smiling at his colleagues who were busy applying creativity to the tensed competition that existed at the time, and making huge sales therefrom. Till I left he did not make any sales. I really pitied him.

This scene applies beyond the simple sole trader selling his wares on a corner of the street or in the market, to big multinationals. The need to do something extra cannot be over emphasized in business. One of the major reasons why some businesses are finding the business climate very tough is because of the presence of competitors, some of them being very aggressive. Remove the competition and you find them doing better.  But in business you cannot rule out competition, except for legal monopolies. So every business has to learn the art of survival of the fittest, or they are kicked out of business.

All that is required is to have at the back of your mind that a sale by a competitor means you have lost that particular sale. If it continues unabated, then collapse is imminent. Simple !

So you have to do everything (legal of course) to ensure that you outsmart your competitor. It’s all about being watchful, creative, proactive, business-minded, building customer loyalty and above all, being customer-oriented. Sometimes you might have to lose a few coins/notes. See those loses as investments that, most often than not, pay back.

Last line : Watch a boxing match, preferably that of Iron Mike Tyson, and see how to outsmart a competitor.

Good luck to you.