by Susan Levinstein, CPA, Partner
As a woman business owner, you likely have multiple responsibilities not only in your business life but also in your personal life. It is common to feel that you are pushed to the limit to do it all, which is exactly why you need an effective management team to help share the load. Further, it is critical to hire supervisors and line employees who understand what you are trying to achieve and can help you get there.
What is your vision?
Finding the right people starts with your goals and objectives for the business. For example, are you “growth-oriented,” aimed at a high growth rate in sales and profitability, perhaps expanding to new locations and constantly developing new products and services? If so, this will likely require highly devoted and motivated personnel who are willing to work long hours year-round. Or are you “lifestyle oriented,” establishing a business so that you can make the key decisions (vs. being an employee), better serve clients, and control your daily life which might mean flexibility in meeting family needs? Or are you a hybrid of these two scenarios?
Regardless, it is important to identify your vision for the company and communicate it to employees. An effective way to start is by developing a strategic plan. A strategic plan is aimed at evaluating where your company is now, where you want it to go and how to get there. Through this process, you’ll be forced to answer numerous questions that address key functional areas of your business — research/development, production/operations, finance/accounting, sales/marketing, customer service, human resources and technology.
While you may not share the entire strategic plan with all employees, you can take critical elements from it and communicate it. As such, possibly the greatest end-result of the planning process (from a human resources perspective) is that It creates a shared vision and long-term goals toward which everyone in the firm can work.
Culture is key
Your vision should tie-in directly with your company’s culture. A company’s culture can have a major impact on its performance. It can bind the organization together and be a competitive advantage. Happy employees typically work faster, are more loyal, and serve customers better. A high performing company will often embody the following core value traits in its culture: integrity, a positive outlook, accountability, a performance-focus, enjoyment in the work process, adaptability to change, collaborative decision-making, and openness to innovation. Overall, in order to attract employees for the long-term, you’ll want to develop a culture that encourages productivity and happiness.
Selecting the Right Employees
To ensure that your business is successful, you’ll need the right personnel to make it happen. Your vision and culture should directly impact the qualities that you look for in hiring new employees. It is important to look beyond typical qualifying criteria in a resume: you’ll want to share your core values and vision with candidates and determine whether each is an appropriate fit. For those employees already in your work force, communicate regularly to boost organizational morale and productivity. Keys to communicating your vision include: share your company’s rationale and expectations: hold regular employee meetings and communicate business successes, failures and financial updates: and encourage dialogue through top-down, bottom-up and cross-department approaches.
This article first appeared in the Orange County Business Journal.
Contact Susan at 714.505.9000 or email@example.com