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People power can drive business forward

It is a bit of a cliché to say that people are the key to business success, but like all clichés it has more than an element of truth to it.

Attracting and retaining the right staff is crucial for the fortunes of any company, particularly when it comes to businesses experiencing swift and significant expansion.

For businesses starting out or those moving into new markets, when it comes to key staff there is no point recruiting someone who can only do half the job and hoping they can pick the rest up later. In order to hit the ground running, you need them to be ready to lead so carrying out research into a candidate’s capabilities is vital.

For all employees, it is crucial to ensure you have the proper contractual documentation in place, that you have fair and proper procedures both during employment and after the termination of any contract.

However, it is not all about written rules. To ensure everyone in the company knows what is expected of them and can ‘buy in’ to the business’s aims, make sure you give your workforce proper training on these policies and procedures. This way they will know where they stand on issues such as workplace behaviours, confidential information and data protection.

Retaining employees, particularly those in key positions, is becoming more of a challenge as the economy continues to recover and competition for talent hots up.

There are ways to keep hold of key workers without necessarily having to increase fixed costs. You could offer performance-related bonuses, or even a stake in the business (although you will need to watch out for issues such as tax and shareholder dilution).

Perhaps look at creative flexible working arrangements, which are increasingly popular with those with young families and ‘Generation Y’ staff, who employers can find it a challenge to retain.

And finally, when employees do leave, remind them of their obligations following the end of their contract, which should include bringing relevant restrictions to the attention of any new employer.

Protecting the interests of the company often amounts to protecting the future interests of existing employees and those yet to be recruited.