>If you want to grow your business, and if you want to remain competitive you need to ask yourself: Why would my target market (customers) buy from me? and Why would the best employees choose to work for me? You not only need to ask yourself these questions, you need to know and be confident in the answers.

As a business development expert, I typically work with clients helping them define, gain clarity and implement a strategy around the first question. However, lately as the challenge of engaging top talent has become greater, we have been spending more time working on the latter.  If you can’t answer the second question (why would the best employees work for me) then spending your efforts on customer development is going to be less then effective.The quality of the customer experience is dependent upon the quality of the employee servicing them. Now more than ever, with the changes in our economy, the customer experience is critical to your long term success.

The Biggest Challenge for Businesses

Experts in the field of Human Resources and Corporate Recruitment say that talent (recruitment, development and retention) is going to be one of the top challenges facing all levels of business going forward. In fact, efforts spent on ensuring your company has top quality employees, will ensure you have the expertise to manage other challenges your company may face. As the economy continues to shift, competition increases and technology continues to advance, the quality of your people has easily become your most significant asset.

Most significant asset, yet for the most part the most under managed in companies and small businesses right now. However, for those of us looking for the answer, the magic bullet of where to spend our time and energy and get the biggest bang for our buck, talent development may just be the answer. The number of problems it solves, opportunities it creates, and revenue it can produce is astounding.

Start Developing Your Employees

So where do you start? Understand this is a long term process, and just getting started puts you ahead of most of your competition.
Work to answer then develop a strategy around these questions:

  • Why would the best and brightest come and work for (or remain working for) me and our company?
  • Who do I have and need on board and in place to run a successful company?
  • What talents, skills and competencies do I have and do I need?
  • How, specifically, am I going to recruit, develop and retain top talent? What is my plan?

Asking yourself, your senior leadership team and your employees those questions can be some of the most valuable time you spend all year. Creating and implementing the plan will be the most significant investment you make in your company and your future all year long!

Leadership Resources from Meridith Elliott Powell

Own It! Redefining Responsibilitybest selling book by Meridith on Employee Engagement.