I recently posted a question on my social media accounts, “Do you have an employee development program?” 

There are many different responses that one could give to this question but this is the response I’ve heard over and over in my work with family-owned businesses. “We don’t have time, I’d really like to but I’m too busy.” 

Here’s where we get mixed up as business owners. Employee development or leadership development doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated. In your business, you likely have a culture that is very friendly and family-focused. There’s probably some pretty high trust and high integrity too. 

You know your employees personally and may even know their significant others (one of them might be your significant other!). But this closeness doesn’t always translate into effective growth, communication, or delegation. 

I recently met with the CEO of a family-owned business and she was frustrated by the lack of “ownership” from her employees and how they weren’t as proactive and strategic as she would like.

So I asked her, “How can you help them get there?” After a long pause, “I guess, I just am like this naturally and I want them to be too. I want them to think ahead, to not have excuses, etc.”

She explained some more and as we continued to meet, we developed a plan to help her employees be more accountable, communicate more, and be more proactive. I want to share the gist of the plan with you here.

1) She is going to leverage the staff meetings to share briefly (5-minutes) at the beginning of each the direction she would like to go. 

2) She will look for and celebrate good communication, delegation, and strategic thinking to encourage and develop these attributes.

3) She will ask open-ended questions and expect the group to arrive at solutions instead of her doing all that work.

4) She will set the tone of accountability by having each employee sharing what they need to do and then reporting at the next meeting what they accomplished (she is also accountable to this approach).

5) She will celebrate and invite creativity, collaboration, and small failures. 

Notice something about this plan…She is at the root of all of it. You need to be too if you want to see a culture shift happen in your business. 

This simple 5-piece plan is a bit of the change for the organization and for her but when followed, it is guaranteed to develop the staff, produce better processes, and grow profits. 

I’ve seen this time and time again. For some businesses, it takes longer than others but as the leader, you set the tone and can create the buy-in to really speed this up. 

What have you been doing to develop your team? How have you been working on developing yourself? 

If you find yourself in an uphill battle with employee development or process improvement in your business you are not alone. I’d also like to invite you to a coaching call to discuss some strategies on how to develop your people and improve your processes. You can schedule here.

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