John Hamilton

Grow your business by growing your people

By John Hamilton

Those leaders who get their people on the same page, maximizing their strengths and working toward a common goal, outperform those who don't.

Every business leader can improve their relationships with employees in ways that unleash untapped potential.

Business success is often attributed to having "breakthrough" technology or an innovative business model, or to being well funded. Often overlooked is another significant factor the role leaders play in understanding, nurturing and leading the people on their teams. This factor is not as easy to see or explain, but the impact is no less.

Business is still about relationships. Those leaders who get their people on the same page, maximizing their strengths and working toward a common goal, outperform those who don't.

Accomplishing these is sometimes no more than the sum of a lot of little things. Taking time to "check-in" and let people know they are valued when things go well, focusing on the learning and not the blame when things go wrong, and helping people see how their efforts connect to the bottom line are all ways of investing in people.

For those with a lot of Millennial employees, take the time to listen, and reflect on how their values and approach may differ from yours, but be equally valuable. Blogger Jared Brox has some good advice on how business leaders can invest in the next generation's potential.

Ultimately, investing in your people builds the value of your business. This investment has a consistent payoff.

Building a business is tough. There are often a growing number of competitors and there is lots of uncertainty. But every business leader can improve their relationships with employees in ways that unleash untapped potential.

The business results are sure to follow.

John Hamilton is Vice President for Economic Opportunity at the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund.