Most businesses fail to harness their employees’ true potential.

It’s common knowledge that you need good people in your organization, but most companies take this to mean that they need to recruit good people. Once they’ve hired talented staff, many businesses assume they’ve done everything they can to build a strong team. But high-performing businesses understand that developing human capital involves so much more than just recruitment. So how do you build a great workforce? 

As well as recruiting the best people, you also need to develop your new hires once they’re on board. This development could take the form of external training programs or temporarily posting people to other parts of the business so that they can learn more about the organization. 

But although these activities are easy to implement, many companies avoid upskilling their employees. Why? Because they think it’s too much of a risk. After all, what happens if they invest time and resources in developing someone, and then that person decides to leave the company? 

The key message here is: Most businesses fail to harness their employees’ true potential. 

Instead of increasing what their existing employees are capable of, most businesses prefer to recruit new employees who already have the skills and experiences required. 

But high-performing companies don’t go down this route. Instead of worrying about the consequences of investing in an employee who then leaves, high-performing companies worry about what will happen if they don’t develop someone who chooses to stay. What’s more, instead of allowing line managers to carry on recruiting new people into their team, some high-performance companies will often dismiss managers for failing to ensure that their existing team is skilled enough to meet the business’s challenges. 

So how do you unlock the true potential of everyone who works for you?

Perhaps the first place you should be looking is your leadership team. Oftentimes, if organizations do decide to invest in staff development, they put that investment into developing their employees’ technical competencies. But what many people are missing isn’t technical know-how but leadership skills – the competencies surrounding communication, integrity, and management style. 

You can set a good example to others in your organization by undertaking training and development programs yourself. This will encourage other leaders to refresh their own skill set and set a new tone for the whole organization. If managers can see that senior leaders embrace personal development and upskilling, they are more likely to provide training opportunities for their own teams rather than recruiting from outside the organization.