As a business owner and also as someone who helps businesses grow, I often see very questionable actions taken on the part of business owners or presented to them. Sometimes they are rather innocuous or expensive. Sometimes a play on words without substance attracts a business owner and like a fish drawn to a lure, they strike. Thousands of dollars in worthless marketing goes out the window. I say out the window because those spending the money cannot describe or identify the slightest accurate return on those dollars. I cannot call that Return on Investment because as it turns out…it wasn’t an investment. This is very true for those who buy into the hype surrounding lead generation and the promises of many many leads for the business. In these instances, the business owner just fell for the “Lead Generation Trap”
Over time I have been able to identify a fair number of common concerns among business owners. Here in Northeast Wisconsin where I live, the common ground among them is not surprising. The common thread of culture and lifestyle, for the most part, exists in the majority of business owners. Many commonly express the same thought; “Business is different than I thought.” The conflict of balancing life and business is real and most struggle terribly with that.
That requires some defining.
We have heard it over and over. “We have to work on establishing a more engaged workforce.” “We have to get our employees more engaged” What does that mean? Let’s define Employee Engagement. Employee Engagement is nothing more than the extent the individual chooses to apply their knowledge, skills, and abilities toward an effort. I invite your attention to three words “the individual chooses.”
What does that mean?
I remember his frustration. He showed me the equipment he bought that promised to make his work easier. He showed me the software he bought that promised to make his salespeople more efficient. He was angry too. I had been referred to him because he needed help. He was angry, frustrated, and taking it out on me because everything he had purchased to help his business didn’t. His words still resonate with me, “I bought this $%*+, and nothing happened.” I knew part of the answer as to why. He bought something that he thought would make his business successful; he forgets that Success Comes From Actions and Not Things.
A common reason I am given for a business to not engage in workforce planning is that they don’t see the value in it. Aside from the information, I presented in my article Why do Organizations Need Workforce Planning, there is the information presented in the Entrepreneur Magazine article, 5 Important Guidelines to Increase HR Values In Your Organization. These articles may not address the objections of your harshest critics. In that instance, you would have to develop a Business Case for Workforce Planning.
How do you develop a business case for Workforce Planning (WP)?