Successfully Grow Your Business By Creating a Ladder of Opportunity For Employees
Note: This is the first of a 3 article series on this topic
It has been my observation that the most successful construction businesses are the ones that plan for and achieve consistent growth. This growth is measured in two ways that go hand in hand. The first, and probably the most obvious, is growth in revenue. The second, and most important, is the growth of the employees who comprise the team. These two forms of growth go hand in hand because without employees to manage and complete the work, you cannot increase your revenues. Another important consideration is that growth will be pointless unless you maintain profitability. Adding quality employees helps you to maintain and boost your financial success.
You can jeopardize consistent growth by constantly replacing employees or forcing new hires into management positions. The fact is that as a business expands, you will need additional employees and skills to maintain the growth. Employee retention and improving upon their skills are easier and quicker ways to grow. Creating a ladder of professional and career opportunities for your employees helps facilitate a long-term design strategy for your business. The ladder of opportunity is created by moving employees forward into new positions and bringing on new team members to fill the positions they leave vacant. You maintain the ladder of opportunity by helping new hires to grow in this same way.
Reasons for using a "Ladder of Opportunity"
Evolution Vs. Revolution?
It’s not easy to replace employees as they leave your team or to bring on new hires that possess the necessary skills to ensure your business grows. Doing so also delays the rate at which you your construction business can grow. You need to also consider whether you feel it is really fair to existing employees if you don’t give them the opportunity to move up within the company. If you are not developing employees as the company grows, you will eventually face a revolution, rather than an evolution. If this happens, you may be forced to replace these employees with others who already have the skills the growing business needs. This approach can be very risky and expensive.
Offering a ladder of opportunity helps keep good employees.
I always found that great employees are far more motivated by opportunity, responsibility, accomplishment and a sense of personal fulfillment than by the use of short-term incentives, such as cost of living wage increases, one-time bonuses, or an occasional pep rally. The right strategy, as long as it is sensitive and relative to the career path of your employees, will help keep those employees on the team. It can also steer your company in the direction of recognizing who can move up the ladder and how to train them to ensure that your business evolves. The effects of such strategies are longer lasting and often permanent for the business and its employees. Additionally, this strategy works well because existing employees are familiar with your company’s systems. They already fit into the culture and know how and why you do business the way you do. It will take longer for new employees to learn about your culture, adapt, adjust and become productive dedicated members of your team. Having employees start their career paths at the bottom of the ladder affords the business owner the advantage of limiting the expense and risks if the employees do not fit in or decide to leave the business.
Read the follow up to this blog (article 2 of 3) titled “How To Create A Ladder Of Opportunity For Your Employees”