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Why it's time for businesses to refocus on their employees

Written by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce | 29 Sep 2020

In these uncertain times, many businesses will be focused on survival. But while it's all hands on deck to 'get business done', things like people development and making sure staff feel valued, may fall by the wayside.

Gavin Muge is a freelance trainer and coach based in South Bedfordshire. He works with individuals to boost their confidence and improve their professional performance. Gavin tells us why companies need to refocus on their employees to empower positive change.

“We’ve got to keep looking to the future. We’re stuck in a moment. We’ve been in it for six months, but the coronavirus pandemic won’t last forever. Organisations need to refocus on their people again, and re-energise themselves and their workforce to go to greater glories as we go forward into the next 10, 20, 30 years.”

Your people are your business

As a business owner, you know that your people are the heart of your company. They are your most valuable asset.

But just as the current situation has impacted your business, it’s impacted your people too. The way we work and interact professionally has changed, perhaps forever. Your staff may be feeling disconnected, or worried about their future in your company.

As Gavin explains, “We’ve all been separated and distanced and companies have, quite rightly, had to concentrate on what’s important to keep the business going. But businesses still rely on their people. As more time passes, there may be a learning deficit. What I mean by that, is people will feel underinvested in because the focus is on just doing the business.”

Gavin believes that every company has an obligation to motivate people and to help them get better at what they do so they can achieve more. That obligation is more important now than ever if businesses want to survive. “Particularly at the moment, when people may be feeling a little uncertain about their future in the company, or just a little disconnected, businesses need to keep investing in their staff. If employees feel valued, they feel secure, and they don’t start panicking that they need to find another job quickly.”

Re-engaging your employees

As companies start to bring people back from furlough, or back into the office, Gavin believes there needs to be a re-engagement piece. “As companies get back to ‘normal’, whatever that may be, it can’t just be a case of ‘Ok everybody, welcome back. Crack on.’ They will need to re-engage and reconnect with people first.”

For Gavin, this means one thing: communication. “Before you can tell the outside world that you’re here and open for business, you need to win over the hearts and minds of your employees so that they are motivated to give it full pelt. Business owners and managers need to keep communicating; to be honest, answer questions, and be human.”

In terms of welcoming people back into the office, Gavin thinks orientation days are a great idea. “An orientation day may be a great way for an organisation to restart the relationship with their people. An employee’s first day back shouldn’t be a normal day. It may sound over the top, but the first day back should be about showing them the one way system, where the hand sanitiser is, how you’re staggering working hours etc. After all, people won’t remember what you did, but they’ll remember how you made them feel. And if you can make them feel safe, and valued, then you are going to re-energise them to go to greater glories.”

About Gavin Muge

Gavin specialises in working with individuals and companies who are ready to be empowered and make positive life changes to improve the future. He trains, mentors and motivates employees to develop their skills so they can build confidence and improve performance. He has particular expertise in helping people to build confidence in selling and in helping first-time managers make a successful transition from ‘doing’ to ‘leading’.

The first stage when working with a company is to carry out a training needs analysis. “You have to get under the car bonnet to understand the skills people have now and the skills they need to take the business forward. Then it's about looking at that gap and determining how to close it.”

To find out more about Gavin or to get in touch, visit his website.

QES Q2 2020

Topics: people development

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