By Margo Marrone, Co-Founder of The Organic Pharmacy
Any workforce needs a strong leader to inspire them, push business growth, and achieve success. Here, Margo Marrone, Co-Founder of The Organic Pharmacy shares her insights on leadership and management and how to mentor staff in the world of business.
Owning a company comes with plenty of benefits, giving you the opportunity to do things your own way and building up a team you trust and can rely on. But often, businessowners are faced with difficult decisions that require great leadership and management skills, so it’s important that any current or prospective entrepreneur knows how to efficiently mentor their staff to help them to reach the business’ overall goals together.
If you’re hoping to upskill your workforce and are facing some challenges in doing so, you’re in luck. I’ve put together my top tips for mentoring your workforce so you can confidently pass responsibility over to them.
Make sure your workforce and business values align
It’s always difficult to let go of some responsibility when it’s your own company, but as your business grows, you won’t be able to do everything anymore. This is why it’s so important to build a team of like-minded individuals, who are passionate and share the same values that you do.
For example, I found my stressors of selling a company I built from the ground were put to rest when I found the right people to take over. The company I sold to were family-run and very traditional, so it was quite an easy transition, especially as we shared the same ethos in the way we wanted things done. When you have people around you who you can trust to carry on your passion with mutual respect, you will feel much more assured about taking a step back.
The same approach should be taken when you’re hiring new staff, too. While having the right skillset is important, you also need to make sure they’re passionate about growing alongside you and hold the same values for doing so.
Give clarity about roles and responsibilities early on
When you’re going to be expanding your team and handing over responsibilities that were once yours to somebody else, it’s important that you clarify what these will be. This should be done at the earliest opportunity to ensure there are no crossovers which can slow down processes and could cause tension between teams.
Similarly, firmly agreeing on processes for the more emotive parts of business, like hiring and marketing, is a must. This means that everybody is working on the same page and towards the same missions, which can help things run much smoother.
Create a collaborative environment
While there are some aspects of business you’ll want to set solidly, you still need to create a collaborative environment where workers feel willing and able to share their ideas. Failure to do so can mean you’re missing out on implementing some great ideas, and if staff don’t feel like they’re heard, it could also result in high staff absenteeism or turnover rates.
While collaboration and teamwork will need to be solid within teams, it’s also important that they feel comfortable with sharing ideas with others in separate divisions of the company. As already discussed, regular training will certainly help, as will ideation sessions where teams are able to share their ideas with one another and learn exactly how they feed into each other’s job roles.
Prioritise great communication
Feeding into the idea of clarity, as a leader you will need to have great communication with everyone from any business partners you might have, to the rest of your staff. Any great leader will know the importance of being heard, but they need to balance it with being able to listen to any criticisms, feedback, or praise they’re receiving either from clients or internally.
Whether it’s giving them frequent updates about company performance, or responding to concerns that have been raised, to be a great leader you need to know how to communicate efficiently and effectively.
Provide adequate training to support growth
Growing a team of great people means there’s more opportunities for your business to expand and rise to success. And while you’ll have picked the best talent to fill your positions, it’s important that you give frequent, in-depth training to ensure everybody is happy and confident in their roles — and to support your business growth.
For the wellbeing industry specifically, training is very important as there’s a lot of responsibility attached to the advice we give. At The Organic Pharmacy, we focus on three different types of training primarily, and will add others into the mix sporadically as and when we need them.
First and foremost, we offer and encourage opportunities for professional knowledge development within our teams of pharmacists, estheticians, and homeopaths who are always equipped with the latest knowledge to do their job to the best of their ability. Similarly, we offer client journey training which ensures every person on any team is able to manage and meet client expectations. We also offer motivational training to the entire workforce to help identify what each person needs, with the aim of helping them to develop a more meaningful role that goes beyond their job.
Training is so important for engaging your staff and clarifying with them what should be done and when. If you’re unsure where to start with your training efforts, frequently identifying your weak points as a company or within the teams is usually a good starting point.
Being a leader doesn’t come easy, but with these top five tips, you can make sure you’re prioritising all of the right areas to take your business to success.
Margo Marrone is Co-Founder of The Organic Pharmacy, the first of its kind to focus solely on organic products. Margo herself is a pharmacist and homeopath who founded the business in 2002 to meet the demand for natural health and beauty solutions. Aligning with her own lifestyle choices, Margo ensures that any ingredient used by the pharmacy are of the highest pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical standard, and sustainably sourced.