From education to employment

Attract, Retain and Grow your team to grow your Business

Safaraz Ali Author of the Canny Bites Business Books and Host of Canny Conversations Podcasts

Building a business these days even sustaining one is nigh on impossible without building a team.

Every success story that I have been involved with or know about happened because of the “people” who created it – whatever their role and that’s largely why I felt compelled to write my third Canny Bites book titled Attract, Retain and Grow your people to grow your business. The book is split into three areas although there is considerable overlap between across the components:

Attract – How do I recruit the right people for your business?

Retain – How do I create a high-performance culture that people are engaged with?  How do I keep and engage the right people?

Grow –  How do I develop and grow the right people?

Working with people can be stressful, complicated and frustrating and often it’s the number one issue for businesses – either because “they can’t get the staff” and or they lack the knowledge, skills behaviours and attitudes desired by the business.  In this respect businesses generally are a problem magnet and often business owners and leaders have a desire to go fast or being very knee-jerk in their approach, when it comes to people and their business, some things are obvious; some not so obvious. If you rush, you might miss and overlook something and end up starting fires that you then end up with all your time dealing with. Its often hard for entrepreneurs and leaders and I can speak from personal experience here but make haste slowly and raise your consciousness of the matter and process.

Some of the points and some personal observations I would like to bring to the surface are

No-one forgets what it feels like to be part of a winning, high performance team. But how do you build one?

What is driving the why? Why do good people not stay?

Why are our teams working in silos?

Its not about knowing everything, command and control does not work anymore,

Diversity isn’t a programme; diversity is really a culture

Diversity is a priority and fundamental to our competitive success.

Embrace unity, not uniformity

value individualism, unconventional points of view and original thinkers.

Build a culture of openness and don’t forget the words of  Peter Drucker the Management Guru “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.

When it comes to Retention, this isn’t just about retaining and engaging your staff within the business, its slightly broader and for me retention is about retaining the culture of the business and ensuring the culture isn’t disrupted. This is where the saying that One Bad Apple Spoil a Bunch is true.

This is why I say that before you introduce someone into the team

Think if the person will “care” about his role and go the “extra mile” 

Will they fit into the culture of the organisation and move it forward positively?

And possibly more importantly – is the person coachable and can also coach others as well?  one who will accept ownership accountability and responsibility or is the person more about making excuses and blaming others or worse still in denial?

Despite our best efforts’ certain bad apples “will get through the net”. One bad apple will quickly spoil an entire box of apples. In every business there is a person or several individuals who damage the business and at times its not completely obvious as they maybe initially unseen and unrecognised as the bad apples, sometimes fatally until it’s too late. Maybe originally s seen as charismatic, admired as talented and successful. One of their talents is in self-promotion, bolstered by an ability to lie with practiced ease. This is not about scaremongering but it’s important to protect the culture of the business to exit them out of the business as soon as possible to retain the culture of growth within the business.

When it comes down to it – culture is the foundation of business success. The traditional Signs of good culture are the core values of the business, the Mission and Vision statements as well the customer service standards. Where possible Company’s values and priorities should be so well engrained that each team member can name them and be prepared to adapt them, if necessary.

Businesses with good culture find ways to empower employees to make correct decisions themselves, rather than having to be reined in by management and the one of the best examples of this is Netflix with their “act in Netflix’s best interests” statement.

When you ‘connect the dots’ on attracting, retaining and growing your people then your chances of business growth improve considerably. I do hope that you get a chance to read my Canny Bites Book and I sincerely wish you the best on your journey.




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