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You get what you tolerate: why employees make or break business success and how you can lead the way

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Once your business starts to grow, you will inevitably take the step of hiring staff and putting processes and procedures in place to keep things on track – and it is at this point that strong management is critical if you want to continue to drive your business forward.

However, whilst people can be the magic ingredient that makes a company great, they can equally be the biggest headache. 

As a business owner, you set the tone for behaviour in the workplace by what you are willing to tolerate, and the behaviours you accept and don’t address directly influence your company performance – for better or for worse.

To promote a positive workplace in which employees go above and beyond to achieve organisational goals, you need to lead by example. Here are some ways to guide and motivate your employees so that, together, you can achieve [and exceed] your business growth ambitions. 

Play to your employees’ strengths 

If you want your business and your employees to succeed, you must capitalise on each team member’s strengths. According to research by Gallup, employees who can leverage their strengths at work are 8% more productive than their peers who are forced to do things they don’t want to do, 15% less likely to quit their jobs and six times more engaged with their work.

By simply creating roles where employees can utilise their skills, you can promote achievement and, in turn, boost your business’ overall performance. 

Set performance-based goals 

Performance management is key to getting the most out of your employees and, without motivated and engaged staff, it is going to be very difficult for your business to reach its full potential. 

The performance management process combines information gathering through monitoring goal completion, feedback and discussions. 

By analysing successes, learning from mistakes and examining potential for growth and development, you can develop talent, enhance individual performance and eliminate issues along the way.

Give your teams more autonomy 

Greater team autonomy can not only benefit individual teams but your entire company. When teams are more autonomous, business owners and managers don’t need to spend as much time micromanaging employees and can instead plan for the future and address other company needs. 

Employee retention also rises when teams are given more autonomy, as today many people value meaningful work more than higher pay and longer hours. 

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In a recent study, more than 90% of employees said they would choose to take a pay cut in favour of doing more meaningful work. If you trust your employees enough to grant them more autonomy, they will find more purpose in their work and will be more incentivised to stay at your company and work towards achieving overall business growth and success.

Keep a feedback loop open 

Employees need to know where they stand at all times, so a major part of developing a successful team is opening a feedback loop. 

If someone is falling short of your expectations, have a conversation with them early on and give clear guidance on how they can improve. Equally, if someone has done a great job on a project or has improved drastically in some aspect of their work, let them know. Otherwise, how will they know to keep it up?

It’s also just as important to be transparent and open to feedback on your end. Employees should feel able to comfortably voice any thoughts or concerns. When you hear directly from your employees on what’s going well and what might need to change, you have a better sense of how your business is running overall. 

Regularly evaluate employee progression 

Evaluating employee achievements and progression on a regular and consistent basis helps them acknowledge their growth, so they can feel good about making progress over time. 

They will gain greater understanding of how their position contributes to the goals of the company and will likely become more invested in the outcome. 


Many factors contribute to achieving business growth, from having a sound strategy and a marketable product or service, to developing efficient processes. But it falls to the people within the organisation to execute the strategies, plans, and processes to make a business a true success. 

By following the steps above, you can empower your employees and make them feel like an instrumental component in driving the company’s success. 

This will ultimately give them more confidence in the organisation’s future and a stronger desire to stay with the business for the long term, helping to accomplish future growth. 

Kevin Brent is director of business support provider and franchise, BizSmart


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