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Employee treasure

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Let me tell you a tale that every business owner should learn something from. Behind every strong and successful small business is not only an owner/ manager who has the entrepreneurial skill to make it all happen consistently, but there are also award-winning employees.

I was at an awards function a while back and saw unquestionably a strong employee and her feisty attitude showed up when accepting an award.

She not only graciously accepted her honour but chose to take issue with some of the comments of the keynote speaker (and it wasn’t yours truly!) who presented the award.

All this happened at a small business association’s annual recognition of employees. This feisty employee took out the best small business employee award.

Her display of toughness when collecting the award should not have come as a surprise given what the audience heard about her when initially introduced.

She started in the business as a part-time accountant but three years later had taken the reins as general manager.

According to her boss, she had an inspirational and infectious drive and as a result, every area of the business received her creative and skilful attention". On accepting her award, her boss said that she had conquered a few demons, which had been a source of some of her drive.

Giving clue to what he meant, the employee referred to the unpleasant experience of "being burnt" by her big business experience.

Her small business achievement, however, really felt special.

What she has achieved in the small business underlines how big business methods and systems, when applied to small business, can produce productivity-pumping results.

Since her arrival, she had researched different methods of a staff profit share scheme and eventually implemented a scheme.

She developed a business plan, as well as formulating a cost-recovery method for ensuring minimum returns on investment.

In addition, she documented office and production procedures to guarantee quality control.

She established weekly production meetings with the intention to increase communication, thrash out issues and analyse financial results.

There had been the implementation of a computerised quoting system and the development of an action plan to bolster productivity.

And of course, she is committed to researching opportunities for new business.

Capitalising on its strong growth, this small business branched out into the design and production for theatrical settings.

Apart from adding to the bottom line, the business owner said, "This has given an enormous creative lift to the business". "Due to her contribution, turnover has grown by 20 per cent over the last two years and staff have become confident in the long-term viability of the business"

In summing up his experience with his award winning staff member, the business owner said: "She translates my many visions for the business into realities.

"The role of general manager is a critical one and she consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to deliver excellent service to the company and its customers."

Now is she an employee to keep and reward?

Published on: Thursday, August 13, 2009

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