If I say the words “talent management,” I bet your first thought is not going to be related to small business software.
More likely to come to mind? Words like communication, connection, and appreciation.
Those are the kinds of things that make employees (like myself!) feel appreciated and valued. And when we feel appreciated and valued, we’re motivated to work harder and learn more.
But keeping talent in your company (and helping employees develop it in themselves) is less about telling people they’re great than it is about helping them be successful.
In fact, getting momentum and feeling valued go hand in hand – a number of studies demonstrate that momentum drives performance. And that’s exactly what the best job / work experience feels like: a place where you are constantly growing, thinking, and learning.
The moment we feel stuck or stagnant in a job, we’ll start looking for the exit door. I have left my share of jobs because I knew I wasn’t getting positive momentum or growing.
So how can you you help your employees get momentum, and develop their own unique set of talents? And, what does harnessing small business software have to do with it?
Appreciate (and recognize) successes big and small
Being able to see an employee’s progress means you can cheer their successes along the way.
It could be completing a not so fun task like inventory analysis or getting through a cold call list. Hopefully it’s something a bit more exciting, like your salesperson landing their biggest sale to date or the store selling out of a product on its’ release date.
This doesn’t mean that you need a complex tracking system – it could be as simple as a shared to-do list app like Wunderlist that notifies you when a task is checked off.
But no matter what the daily tasks are, celebrating those successes with your employees helps them recognize that they are getting momentum. And it also reinforces that you trust them and appreciate the work they do.
Guidance through a rough patch
It’s easy to point out successes – but it’s just as important to notice if an employee is having a tough time with a task. Just as software allows you to track the completion of tasks, it can also help you see how long a task has sat waiting to be completed.
If something’s been a to-do for a long time, ask your employee if there’s anything you can do to help. Remember to be empathetic, they’re probably feeling some of the same stress that you do when you know you should have already completed a task. And remember also that even a small bit of momentum can go a long way: some of the most successful people in the world start before they feel ready.
Highlight an opportunity for more training
A good piece of small business software does another thing really well: helps you see patterns in your employees’ work.
Maybe they’re able to close sales at a high rate, or you might have noticed that one of your employees always gets financially tasks done quickly and neatly.
Those are both great examples of leadership & training opportunities – the employee who is great at sales might be the perfect person to do quick research on how to improve the pipeline for new customers, or train a new employee. And the financial wizard could grow into a role where they help forecast and track business expenses.
Seeing those patterns will help you place employees in roles that they’re good at + interested in, a win-win situation for both of you.
What do all of these things have in common? They’re about clear communication.
Sometimes it’s as simple as commenting on a task or sending a quick instant message. It can also be as in-depth as sending a detailed email or sending a detailed how-to guide with a message of encouragement.
Either way, your employees are not mind readers (side note: employees, your boss is also not a mind reader). As their boss, the more you help them get momentum and grow their own talents, the easier it will be to delegate key parts of your business so you can focus on bigger things (or even take a vacation once in a while).
Growing the talent and momentum of your employees goes beyond just listening to them. It involves paying attention to their strengths, areas of possible growth, helping them through rough patches, and pushing them to do their best. With the help of small business software helping you track these factors, you can empower your employees to do their very best.