A friend of mine recently reminded me of a great quote that really gets to the core of how to make your team more productive.

I’m sure you will have heard this quote banded around before but read it again with your thoughts focused on improving productivity in your workplace.

The quote is from British business legend Sir Richard Branson….

For me, this quote gets to the heart of how to solve the productivity puzzle in this country, and around the world. “Train people well enough so they can leave.” That doesn’t just mean teach them how to do the job. It means give them the skills and teach them the behaviours to be able to succeed in any type of business, in any type of industry.

If you can train everyone in your team how to become a really effective communicator, how to engage with your team in a positive way and the importance of giving honest feedback regularly. If you can train them to have the self-awareness and emotional intelligence to understand how other people are feeling and how to manage their feelings with honesty and respect, then you have trained people who are equipped to deal with so much more than just “doing a job”.

One of the key factors behind falling productivity is employee turnover. That’s why its so important to; “Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”  Companies who have high attrition rates will continue to suffer until they understand they need to do more than just provide a job for their staff.

 Employment is at a record high in this country, it’s a buyers’ market and employees can vote with their feet if they don’t think they are being treated fairly.

Workplace trends are in constant flux though, 30 years ago many employees had a handful of different jobs across their entire working life. Today, most employed people under the age of 30 have already had 5 or 6 different jobs.

If you understand this, you will accept that you will lose employees to other companies and other businesses, despite your best efforts to train them well and treat them well.

When this happens, it is crucial you have a solid succession plan in place to minimise the damage to your business that losing an experienced and capable employee can bring. So many businesses get this wrong and the effects can be catastrophic. Think Sir Alex Ferguson retiring as the manager of  Manchester United FC and being replaced by David Moyes!

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