Tips to building a winning workforce

Wed Nov 01 2017

Everybody likes to feel they’re the masters of their own destiny, but as your business increases in size, it’s increasingly likely that your employees might be holding a lot more of your future in their hands.

And if they’re not on your side – or even willing to go the extra mile once in a while – you could be facing an uphill battle to achieve your aims.

So, how do you avoid a misfiring workforce and instead build a team that fuels your success?

1. Build a strong foundation

Ideally, this is where it should all begin. It’s not always easy to hire the right people, especially when unemployment is at its current lows1. And nobody gets it right all the time. But the more care and attention you put in at this stage of the process, the easier it can be to fit all the pieces of the jigsaw together.

That might mean writing better job descriptions that don’t just outline the role and its responsibilities, but also dig more deeply into the character traits you’re looking for. It’s really worth thinking hard about who your ideal candidate would be from all perspectives.

It could also mean making sure you advertise in the right places – how are the kind of people you’re looking for searching for jobs? Do they still look in the same places they did the last time you advertised for the role? It’s easier to fish from a well-stocked pool so getting this right can be crucial.

And look past the CV when you’re trying to identify the perfect candidate. If it gives you a better understanding of how they would fit within the company culture, it will be worth it.

If you’re looking for inspiration, take it from Barclays Connect with Work2. It’s a support programme that focuses on those with the aptitude and attitude to get into the workplace but who face barriers in doing so. It shows how rewarding it can be to see beyond first impressions when building a team.

2. No train, no gain

Hiring your employees is just the beginning. It takes time to mould them perfectly to your business, but it can certainly be time well spent.

Let’s face it, there aren’t many employees (or owners for that matter) who wouldn’t benefit from learning new skills. Investing in developing their abilities can bring tangible benefits to your business.

The funds you allocate to training can make your employees more productive, more efficient, or even remove the need to make additional hires – saving you money in the long run too.

Of course, it’s not always easy to find the funds up-front to attend an industry conference, pay for further education or secure a spot on a fantastic training course. 

This is where a Barclaycard Business card can come in handy, allowing you to spread the financial load or helping to bridge a funding gap3. After all, if it’s a great opportunity for your business, it’d be a shame to miss out simply because of a cashflow crunch.

As a Barclaycard customer, you can also get involved with Barclays Digital Wings. It’s a free online training resource that you and your staff can use to brush up on anything from social media to building an app.

3. Keep them pumped

A fully motivated workforce plays a huge role in the success of a business. So, spend some time investing in morale – it could be a major factor in helping your ship stay the course.

There are many ways to motivate, from setting realistic goals (and including the appropriate rewards such as promotions) to providing effective leadership and inspiring camaraderie. Each employee might require a different mix to get the best out of them, but showing that you trust them can really help.

Giving your team some financial responsibility with their own Barclaycard Business cardshows you trust them – and can really help to keep them motivated.

And with MyControls on Barclaycard Business online servicing, and cardholder misuse insurance on some Barclaycard Business cards, you’ll keep enough safeguards to help you feel in control.

4. Have the best lawn

Building a winning team requires hard work, patience and dedication. The last thing you want is for another business to reap the rewards of all your efforts because your employees think the grass is greener somewhere else.

While you can’t stop jobsites and social media connections from fluttering their eyelashes, there’s plenty you can do to stop your employees’ eyes from wandering.

First, ask yourself what is it really like to work for your company? Anything you can do to make this answer more positive could have big implications for retention. After all, while you can reasonably expect your employees to work hard for you, if they’re a commodity that’s in demand then they might reasonably expect you to work hard for them.

It’s another area where your Barclaycard Business card could have a role to play if access to additional funding is required.

For example, could you create a more appealing work environment by sprucing up the premises? Could you do more to promote the occasional team-building social activity? Are there more structural changes you can make to the business, such as offering flexible working (and providing the equipment to make it viable)?

The labour market can be incredibly competitive. Do whatever you can to be a business that people want to work for, and you could reap the rewards.

1  www.ons.gov.uk
2 Employer must have 10 or more opportunities available
Subject to your available credit limit. Customers must maintain their account in accordance with their T&Cs
Subject to application and status

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