While supporting tomorrow’s entrepreneurs has been the primary focus of Planting Seeds, inspiring and encouraging those who work for entrepreneurs is just as important. No great idea can be accomplished alone; only the entrepreneurs who are backed by a strong and willing labour force will ever succeed. Furthermore, that labour force must have pride in what it does and be willing to go above and beyond what is needed—not only to foster the success of the business, but to achieve greater job satisfaction and security.
Here, we take a look at what entrepreneurs and their employees can do to build a thriving business and harmonious workplace.
Karlene Gill, regional manager of Caribbeanjobs.com, and a proud supporter of the Planting Seeds programme, recently indicated to us that trends are changing in today’s workplace. Firstly, the fact that we are in the midst of a recession means that employees can no longer rely on the ‘work-to-rule’ system, doing only what is outlined in their employment contracts and nothing more. As Caribbeanjobs.com prides itself on playing an educational role in the regional recruitment market, Gill offers timely advice for employees hoping to retain their jobs in our strained economic climate: crucially, find ways to carve a unique position for yourself at your workplace; this means taking initiative, and going beyond the bare minimum of contractual duties. Not only will this approach help workers keep their positions, but it can even lead to a promotion or pay increase.
Let us now look at what entrepreneurs and senior managers can do to establish a productive, happy workforce. The first step is to move away from the common complaint that Trinbagonians ‘have no work ethic’. To get the most out of employees, entrepreneurs and senior managers must take stock of their own managerial strengths and weaknesses, asking themselves difficult, but necessary questions: Am I creating a work atmosphere that allows for maximum productivity? Am I even liked or respected by the people whom I supervise and delegate tasks to daily?
Running a business in an extremely diverse country like T&T can sometimes make it
difficult for entrepreneurs and managers to find a common ground with their employees and create harmony in the workplace. However, self-reflection, active self-improvement, and taking the time to get to know employees can help entrepreneurs achieve their business goals and sustain a happy work environment.
At Planting Seeds, we suggest that all entrepreneurs, senior managers and employees take the Myers-Briggs personality test, which is strongly recommended by the Harvard Business School. The test can be easily taken at www.16personalities.com
free of charge. It provides an excellent personal assessment and many international conglomerates currently use the test as part of their hiring process.
A ship cannot be brought safely into harbour without the guidance of a good captain, and the hard work of a good crew. It is therefore imperative that you assess yourself properly and honestly in order to find ways of improving your work performance, whether you’re the boss, a new recruit, or an old employee. Only then can true prosperity be found, because if you don’t find that balance and respect for your role and the roles of others, you will find yourself either thrown overboard, or just part of a sinking ship. udI