Utilizing Employee Talent for Business Success

Your employees come first. And if you treat your employees right, guess what? Your customers come back, and that makes your shareholders happy. Start with employees and the rest follows from that”.Herb Kelleher

By utilizing employee talent effectively, a company would be placing high importance on its employees. It is true – when employees feel taken care of and are treated well, they would do their best to work towards the business’ success. While most organizations would understand the importance of utilizing employee talent and developing their strengths, they also make the mistake of assuming that employees also need ‘fixing’ for their shortcomings. With this mind-set at play, employees begin to feel demotivated, their productivity drops and they become disengaged. A survey revealed that at least 35% employees believe that their company / job does utilize their talent to the full leaving them feeling unhappy, less productive and more likely to look for other opportunities outside the company.  To understand the impact of not utilizing employee talent and therefore leading to attrition, a report revealed that the cost of replacing a – junior level employee is about $7000,  a mid-level employee is about $10,000 and for a senior rank the cost is about $40,000.

Given the current competitive scenario, which company can afford to waste resources or consistently bear the costs mentioned? It would be a self-defeating move. A company would be a lot more stable and successful if they first focused on its internal customers by utilizing employee talent and making these internal customers feel valued and important. The fact is that by utilizing employee talent, a company is encouraging employees to perform better, stay with the company and feel more engaged with it. This in turn leads to a strong workforce that would do everything possible to boost the company’s bottom line and ensure its success. It is therefore in the company’s best interest to utilize employee talent to the optimum.

Utilizing employee talent is extremely essential for the growth and success of a business. Studies have shown that employees, who are able to display and utilize their strengths, are at least six times more likely to be highly productive and have higher levels of engagement to their job and the company. This connection between utilizing employee talent and engagement has the potential to accelerate the growth of a company significantly. Employees just want to collaborate and excel each day and this makes for better product quality and superior customer service on a consistent basis. Utilizing employee talent continually brings out even latent talents and strengths each employee may possess. It encourages them to think beyond whatever they currently do and build on their talents to create superlative results for the company and themselves. By putting together effective processes and policies, a company can achieve great heights even with a much smaller workforce, thereby saving costs that would add to the company’s bottom line.

A company’s approach to its employees and in recognizing and utilizing their strengths would be critical to engagement. By doing so they would empower their employees to do their jobs with confidence and consistently strive for personal and professional development. In paying attention to and utilizing employee talent, companies would be more effective in placing employees in job roles that would be best suited to their talents, thereby ensuring that they enjoy what they do and excel at it. Imagine an entire workforce loving everything that they do – the work environment would always be super-charged and geared towards doing everything possible to make the company succeed. Imagine the kind of service and product quality the customers would receive consistently – which customer would want to leave!

The managers and leadership of a company play a crucial role in maximizing the utilization of employee talent. As part of their job roles, they are the ones who work closely with teams and as such would be the ones to understand their strengths. It is therefore, the responsibility of managers to develop and ensure that they are utilizing employee talent to the fullest by providing opportunities to do so. By utilizing employee talent and allowing them to ‘play to their strengths’, a company would be enabling its employees to get better each day and outperform their previous achievements. It is obvious then, that with so much energy, vibrancy and enterprising attitudes, customers too will begin to experience better service, which in turn will enhance their trust and confidence in the company.

When companies succeed on the inside, they are better equipped to help their customers to succeed too. Customers love to associate with companies that care about their success as much as that of their own company.  Utilizing employee talent is not a practice therefore that benefits the employee – the rewards of doing so are richer and deep-seated for the company itself. Utilizing employee talent makes employees feel good and positive about themselves – research suggests that the more a person can utilize their strengths the better they feel about themselves. In an office scenario, this would translate to high morale, lowered stress levels, feelings of well-being, more reasons to smile, less chances of conflicts and an environment that supports learning and mutual respect. By utilizing employee talent, a company is able to foster a culture of high performance, lowered absenteeism, cooperation and fewer instances of people falling ill.

While the most common scenario in offices is that while employees know their strengths and are willing to utilize their talents, the company may not have policies and strategies that support them. On the flip side, there could be employees who may not know of a particular strength or talent they possess and it would be the job of the company to help them discover these. For example – A friend did not realize her potential of writing with impact until one day when her boss asked her to respond to a rather scathing customer complaint. The communiqué she put together had a dramatically positive impact on the customer and from being an executive in the administrative department, she moved to the PR team in a managerial role. Companies must not assume that an employee knows or realizes their strengths – rather they must afford them with opportunities to allow their innate talents to surface.

While varied talents and skills are a boon for a company, they could also be the reason for discord if not managed well. It is the duty of the company and its leaders to foster team spirit such that they would achieve common goals by utilizing individual employee talent and help the employees to understand and appreciate each other’s talents and strengths. By utilizing employee talent effectively, the individual strengths of employees would complement each other and successfully achieve the individual, team and company goals. The other advantage of utilizing employee talent is that employees would be more aligned to their jobs given that they would enjoy their work and constantly seek to improve.

The fact is that all employees have their unique strengths, skills, knowledge, and talents. All they need are opportunities that would help them to build them, thereby enhancing the opportunities for growth and success for the company and themselves. If leaders fail at utilizing employee talent they could be setting the company up for failure in the long term. Data reveals that when employees are given chances to use their strengths and talents, they are 7.8% more productive individually and teams enhance their productivity by 12.5% at least. Utilizing employee talent is perhaps one of the most potent methods for a company to increase profitability, productivity, market reputation, build a customer base, all factors that lead to sustainable success. Are you ready to invest in your employees to bring out their best skills and innate talents?

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