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Happy Team Happy Life

In Culture, Talent, Teams - 3 years ago - 5 min

Happy Team Happy Life

Is the lack of management expertise holding your company back? Here are three ways you can beat big business to the top talent you need to help your company grow.

If you’re worried that you might not have the right leadership in place to help you grow, you’re not alone. According to Albion Ventures’ 2015 Albion Growth Report, nearly half of small businesses believed a lack of management expertise was restricting their chances of raising finance.

This lack of management expertise is an increasing worry for the companies surveyed by Albion Ventures. Its research shows that, in 2014, business leaders saw a lack of management expertise as the eleventh highest barrier to growth. Last year it was up to seventh.

Competing with big businesses for talent

You need the right leadership team in place to grow your business. But how do you compete with bigger businesses that are also trying to hire the right people?

Large corporations have the funds, time and resource to find and attract the top talent. And even if you manage to snag someone who can help drive your business forward, the prospect of losing them is a common concern.

You’re not alone in being worried. According a report published in 2014 by the government, 60% of business leaders said they were nervous about losing good people. Only 8% were worried about losing customers.

But how can you compete with the major players in your industry? What do you need to do to hire the innovators, creatives and motivators you need to grow your business in the right way?

Here are three ways you can beat big businesses to the right people – and keep them.

1. Challenge prospective talent to define your story

Big businesses have an established journey. They’re well along the path to success.

Does this appeal to the top talent? Many high-growth businesses are finding that offering the chance to define a company’s journey, rather than playing a bit part, is key to getting the top talent on-board.

“Even if you can see a clear path to success and improvement, if there’s no appetite within the business to make those changes then you’re just going to be bored and miserable” says Heather Baker, founder and CEO of inbound marketing, PR and video agency TopLine Comms.

When Heather first started her business more than seven years ago, getting the right leadership team in place wasn’t as important as having the people to do the day-to-day work. As the business has grown, so has the need for people who have the skills and confidence to move it forward. She has found that shouting about the company’s growth and the opportunities it offers has been key to attracting the right talent.

The challenge of the role; the working climate; the excitement of the business – that’s what you need to promote to attract the best people.

“If the business isn’t growing, then it’s not a very exciting prospect for the right kind of leader. Growing businesses create loads of opportunities. If I was looking at a company to work for, I’d be demotivated if they weren’t improving – if they were doing the same thing this year as they did last year – and that was the same as they did the year before. If a business doesn’t have the appetite to change things and make things better, then it’s quite hard for new hires to come in with fresh ideas and make changes.”

2. Offer them autonomy

“People want to be able to make decisions and see them through to fruition” says Alex Fenton, founder and CEO of invoice financing firm GapCap.

Alex believes having the right leadership team is essential for businesses to grow. If the senior team isn’t performing, then it’s impossible to run everything. Alex, who started GapCap in 2014, says that everything comes from his leadership team – they set the tone for how the business grows.

Some of them came from a corporate environment, but he knew that offering them the chance to work in a dynamic, growing business – where they were trusted to make the decisions – would be a good way to attract the people he wanted to work with.

“People choose to take on these leadership roles for a number of different reasons. A growing business can offer something a bit more fast moving, a bit more exciting, where they’ve got the autonomy to make decisions – and be backed on those decisions – without having to go through a bureaucratic process” says Alex.

“When you’re looking to compete for the right people, ultimately you have to offer them the right thing. Are you offering them that true autonomy or is it just a hierarchical environment where it’s hard to get things done?”

3. Create a work environment where people feel happy and motivated

Offering balance to potential leadership recruits doesn’t just mean sleep pods and free fruit. It means offering people flexibility and trusting they’ll get the job done without having to be micromanaged. It means creating a culture where they feel happy and motivated to push the company in the right direction – and feel appreciated for their efforts. You need to create an environment where wellness is as valued as ambition.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to creating the kind of workplace balance that will attract the top talent. But it’s something potential recruits consider, so you should too.

“More and more, I’m hearing people in top positions say they’re looking for a better quality of life. And they don’t want to wait until retirement for it, they want it now” says independent HR and growth consultant, Maggie Railton.

One business she worked with offered a ‘nine-day fortnight’, where staff worked one hour longer each day to earn a day off every two weeks. Another allows staff to take their lunch hour anytime they wish. This gives them the chance to do their own thing at the beginning or end of the working day.

“A leadership team that feels incentivised, supported and inspired to make a difference to the business can only be good for growth,” she says.

Get the balance right and you stand a better chance of getting a leadership team that has the right skills, experience and mind-set to help you grow.

To discuss how workplace balance can improve your business growth please get in contact with one of our team on 08081 722350 or drop us an email: