Chicken or Pig – How Committed Are Your Employees

Bacon and EggsQuestion: In a bacon-and-egg breakfast, what’s the difference between the chicken and the pig? Answer: The chicken is involved, but the pig is committed!

Let’s be frank. Today’s business environment is very challenging. The demand for achieving results – whether you are leading a business, a government department, or a not-for-profit organization – is intense.
Any sustainable business, particularly one which operates in the service sector, is always going to be built on the foundations which are the skills and expertise of its Human Resources. Gaining commitment from employees should be the primary goal of every company. Once a spirit of allegiance is achieved, employees become motivated to fulfilling the organization’s mission while working towards achieving its vision. What better competitive advantage is there than employees who are devoted to the company and work toward attaining or even surpassing the company goals and objectives? Really good staff, the ones who will create value and move your business forward, will only be excited about and committed to two things…
  1. Where you’re going (your Vision, your Purpose)…and,
  2. What you stand for (your Values and Standards).

Survive and Thrive

Ideas Structure Capital Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do. This is one of the best quotes I have come across, and comes courtesy of Robert Schuller, an American televangelist, pastor, and author known worldwide through his weekly Hour of Power television service.  ...and this quote could not be more pertinent to entrepreneurs in running their businesses and raising capital. Consider this story... In 1999, two students rented a garage in California to start their company. As luck would have it, the owner of that garage was a college friend of David Cowan, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, who Forbes magazine listed among the world's top 10 venture capitalists. So the odds for this company started looking pretty good at this point, right? Wrong.  

Sample Business Plans – A Capital Raising Failure Trap

Success or FailureI recently conducted an analysis of the reasons that had prompted visitors to our website. Several of the results were typical such as statements like: "I need to develop a business plan" and "I'm looking for capital for my business" were the high scorers. Another result, however, appeared way too often is one that nearly unequivocally results in the failure of capital raising efforts: "I'm looking for a sample ________ business plan." The blanks were filled-in with business types ranging from fish farm, furniture manufacturing, food processing, event centres, daycare centres, table water manufacturing, fast food restaurant, laundry and dry-cleaning services, industrial cleaning, car wash - and everything in between. Were W-HBS to give a sample business plan to all of these companies, it could be great - since it would effectively weed those companies out and give the rest of us less competition in the capital raising game. Simply put... Sample business plans do much more harm than good to businesses seeking capital and/or to grow.  

Great Companies Treat Their People as Talents, Assets and Not as Employees, Resources or Costs

Your People Are Talents & AssetsIt is imperative that indigenous companies should have a 3-5 years Strategic Business Plan for the growth and expansion of their business. The planning process is just as important as the business plan because it forces you to take a critical look at various factors that are likely to influence the direction of your business now and in the near future. An organization’s business plan is not a certification of success. If the saying is true that the best way to predict the future is to create it, then we would be better prepared to face the future if we have a plan than if we had no plan at all. An imperfect business plan is better than no business plan. Even when businesses take steps to create a strategic business plan, what is more important is to determine the key metrics and performance indicators for growth. Are they clearly established and measurable? There is however one business performance metrics without which a business cannot hope to achieve the sustainable long-term growth that it envisions. No thanks to the harsh economic realities, high lending rates and other business environment issues that are prevalent in our nation, businesses tend to believe that capital is the greatest constraint in achieving their dreams of business growth. For most entrepreneurs, creating an organization recognised as a great place to work does not make the top of the list of their key performance indicators. What usually obtains is an imbalanced focus on the bottom line.  

BUSINESS PLANS: For Entrepreneurs Only?

The familiar context when talking about business plans is as a tool for entrepreneurs. Quite often, start-ups are launched within established companies as a new project, division, subsidiary, etc. This was the case with our client, Philly & Mools when we started working with them in 2008. Do these ventures require business plans? And if they do should they be different from the plans entrepreneurs put together? The answer to the first question is an emphatic YES; the answer to the second, an emphatic NO.  

Mummy, I am a Loser – Four Lessons For Life and Business

FamilyOn Friday 28 February 2014, I was all geared up for the “Mini Olympics” organized by my twins’ school - Tender Cradle School, holding at the Agege Stadium Complex. We were all excited, Mum, Dad, Temi and Tami. We had been preparing for this day since January. Tami was representing Argos House (Green) in the 25 meters Tiny Toes Race and Temi was representing Athens House (Blue) in the 50 meters Tiny Toes Race. Every Monday and Friday, the school would go to the open ground just opposite my office complex and practice. Since the beginning of the term, they also learnt everything about the Olympic games. They came home with homework on the history of games and I was surprised with the level of knowledge my 4-year olds had about the games. Some of these questions include:  

Valentine’s Day – Why Hiring Is Like Dating

ValentineFirst you talk on the phone – get the sound of the person’s voice in your head. You share pleasantries, talk about talents and interests. Then, if you’re intrigued, you set a date and time to meet face to face. On the day of the rendezvous, each party is dressed to impress and on its best behavior. The beginning stages of a relationship can be hand-sweatingly awkward, but this isn’t a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy relationship – it’s a job interview. So why the emotional involvement? Well, if you’re striving startup or a close-knit company, a new hire will have to meld perfectly with the rest of the team and the mission of the business if there is going to be workplace harmony. The goal to dating is to develop a long-term relationship that is fun and enables both parties to grow and learn together. The same goes for the employee / employer relationship. So, how does one go about finding the professional perfect partner? Here is my 3 step process - very similar to my last article - The Four P's Of Hiring - HR Takes A Lesson From Marketing.  

The Four P’s Of Hiring – HR Takes A Lesson From Marketing

4psMost entrepreneurs know that competing against the big boys for top talent has always been a tough contest to win. With their well-recognized brands and rich benefits packages, large companies seem naturally to have what it takes to attract and retain great employees. But my experience as a recruiter suggests something else: small and midsized companies have as much or even more to offer today’s best and brightest than the major corporations do — they just don’t promote it well.

If you want to win the war for talent, you have to make this fundamental move: get HR to start behaving more like sales and marketing. Everyone’s familiar with the four Ps of marketing — product, place, promotion and price. My advice is to apply those four Ps to attract the fifth P: PEOPLE. Here’s how.  

The Best Hiring System for SMEs’ Effectiveness

Who to HireOne of the most important tasks of business organization such as the SMEs is to attract and hire quality, talented and skillful employees that have the ability and capacity to assist the organization to be more effective and effectively compete with its competitors in the market place. However, it has been widely acknowledged that many graduates are presently unemployable due the fact that they lack the necessary and required skills and abilities for the job and the position to the carry out the tasks, yet the organizations continued to hire these applicants who lack the skills to perform the necessary tasks for the organizations’ effectiveness.  

SMEs Cannot Afford To Attract Great Employees

It’s well known small businesses are the biggest employers in Nigeria and in most economies. Yet countless SMEs struggle to engage and retain the best employees. That’s because many workers prefer to work for large companies with the resources, money and time to spoil them. So does that mean SMEs cannot afford to attract great employees? This is absolutely WRONG.  We would over the next few weeks look at this issue clearly. We are sure of that this statement is wrong because of our PRACTICAL experience as HR Business Partners to SMEs who tap into our HR services. Today, I leave you with a resource that will help lay the foundation as we discuss this topic.