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Stronger Thyngs presents Success Secrets of SMEs; How do we Nurture Super Staff?

Hi guys and welcome to Stronger Thyngs!

This content is here to give you an insight into how we are building our business stronger every day, and hopefully give you a few ideas on how you can do the same?

To kick things off, we are going to be giving you an insight into exactly how we support and manage our staff.

The way that Thyngs has done this has meant that we have a team around us who stay late and come in early and are so focused on that one goal of the business.

By the end of this post, hopefully you're going to understand just how you can make that happen too.

So, if you’re experiencing the frustration of swift staff turnover and demotivated teams, read on ahead… Or, if you prefer video, hop on over to our YouTube channel to watch this content here? https://youtu.be/v7ZTDetr47k

"People make a business. Without people there is no business."

We're a tech company, we work with so many different technologies and always ensure that we're embracing everything we can to drive business forward from a technology point of view, but without the people to make that happen, we wouldn't be here.

For us, it is so important to support our staff to empower them, to push them to be the best that they can be and to make sure that everyone has an understanding of why they're here, what they're doing and what we're trying to achieve?

I'm sure that all of you at some point in your career have felt like you're working for a company where money is everything?

Every business needs to have revenues and profits and everything else to make it a business, it is important, but it's not the be-all and end-all.

A lot of mistakes that companies make - and I've definitely been privy to this - is by working out what someone's seat is worth and holding that against them.

The fact is, it doesn't matter whether person sat here is making double their seat and person sat here isn't reaching it. If we're not looking at why that's happening, looking at the people in those roles and trying to make a difference, we're not doing anything.

Staff turnover is one of the biggest issues in large companies and it is something that you don't see as much in start-up.

That is because people are sold on the dream.

They're sold on growing alongside that company?

Once your company is a size where each role is very set, you've got "These are your KPIs, this is everything else, this is your job and if you're not doing X, Y or Z then you're gone”, we just get a conveyor belt of more and more people.

And then that's all its ever going to be.

Being a company who is out in Norwich - which isn't the biggest place in the world - there are only so many people of certain skills and certain levels that are in this area.

So, if you're now recognising any bitter truths, if you've seen that constant conveyor belt of staff coming in and out, it's time to look and realise why people are moving out of those seats.

  • Why isn't person in this seat making as much as person in this seat?
  • What is it that's missing?
  • What is it that you're not doing for your staff to make sure that they are achieving their best?

As I said, here at Thyngs the conveyor belt of staff members is not an issue.

And here's why;

  • We value our staff.
  • We value them above anything else that we do.
  • We know everyone's strengths and everyone's weaknesses, and we help them close the gap.

Recognising a skill in a member of your team that perhaps doesn't suit the role that they're in doesn't mean that they're in the wrong company or they're in the wrong job, it means that you need to draw this out of them.

You need to work out where these skills fit with your organisation, and you need to embrace it?

It's super easy to match up the CV to a job role, anyone can do it.

You say, "I'm looking for someone who's got this degree and this much experience, lalala”, but actually matching up people to a company is a completely different ballgame.

If you're not open and honest with those people the first time that you meet them in their interview, if you're not making them feel comfortable and drawing out the best of them, you're never going to understand where that person can fit within your agency and exactly what they're going to do for you.

So, once you've done that, once you've got those right people through the door - and we can talk about that another time - it's a whole topic in itself & this attitude needs to continue.

The beauty of start-up is that, as a small company, everyone has access to everyone else? It's really simple and easy for someone who's just joined the company to go and sit down and have a chat with the CEO and find out about the values of the company and become inspired by the people they want to be like.

As a business grows, this becomes a lot more difficult.

I've seen it myself, and some of the best managers I've ever had, I've had to watch them struggle as the business grows and they don't have that touching distance with the people that they want to inspire.

That's when it's time to take a step back and realise that you need to have more people like you to run those teams?

Middle managers or team leaders are one of the most important parts of the business because they're the people who can truly inspire your team. If you're not there, the team need to still have that motivation and still have it within them to drive it forwards.

Believe, me, trying to impart that onto someone else isn't always the easiest.

That's why it's really getting to know people in an interview that shows you if they do have those same values, if they do have that inspiring quality.

  • Can they comfortably talk to a team of people?
  • Can they comfortably talk to a team of people and inspire them?
  • Can they lead them?

Can they do this by example and by genuinely giving a shit about the people sat around them in their team?

If you don't have that, it doesn't matter how many years’ experience you have on your CV, how many courses you take or how many degrees you have, it's just never going to work?

One of my biggest aims in my role here at Thyngs is to ensure that as we grow, this remains a strong part of the business.

I've worked for huge corporate companies where they realise this too late. They've built their business on counting the pennies and counting the seats. They haven't focused in on how people really feel, empowering or drawing the most out of their staff.

I've seen them bring initiatives to do staff well-being surveys, to bring together different areas of the business to try and get some continuity and some experience sharing. The problem is, the staff haven't believed that they really meant it?

And that's why no matter how big you grow, as long as you're showing them that you mean it, you care and their opinions matter, you’re off to the best start possible.

There is no point doing a survey and ignoring the results...

"Don't give lip service to something if you're not actually going to follow through with it."

Because even worse than not doing anything at all is proving to yours staff that it's just another box ticking exercise.

Thank you so much for taking the time to enjoy this content.

I really hope that even one of these nuggets has sprung something in your mind that can help make a difference and make your business stronger.

I'm Laura Fox-Newby, and we’re Thyngs?