• Steven Kohnke

7 Pillars of Successful Businesses: Your Employee Development Process


Sharon: Hello, this is Sharon, and I'm here today with Steven Kohnke from Denver, business coach. Good morning, Steven.


Steven: Good morning Sharon, how are you doing?


Sharon: I'm good, as always. Looking forward to our discussion today. So what is our topic?


Steven: Yes. So as a business owner, it's good to understand that your business isn't just this thing that delivers something. Right. It's really a bunch of different areas that really need its own focus and attention and to be maintained regularly. So what we've done with this series here is broken down these components into seven pieces; the foundations, the leadership, the sales, the marketing, the operations, financials, H.R. And this series is all about putting together tips and insights to help business owners implement new things in these area. So with that today, we're really going to be focusing in on that H.R. piece and more specifically, the employee development process.


Sharon: All right, well, let's start then with a little bit more of an explanation of what... What do you mean by employee development process?


Steven: It sounds sounds intuitive, but as a leader, as a leader of the business, you should really know your employees hopes, dreams, desires. And you should have a clear understanding of what each employee wants as a goal of working with your business. And with this, you can help them put together a plan to accomplish these goals professionally and personally. That's that's a big difference here for a lot of other development programs, you know, for instance, if you have an employee, their goal is to purchase a home within the next year. You can help that as their employer. You can help that employee really reach that goal, keep them accountable by checking in ask about their progress. And you have the power to alleviate some of those roadblocks that really that people can experience when trying to make that purchase. So, that's just one example for that. But we're focusing in on both the professional and the personal side of developments of that individual.


Sharon: So as business owners, we have so many things on our plate and so many things we're trying to move forward, and this sounds like it's really going to take some thought and some time. So explain to me why it's so important to have this kind of development process in place. Why is it worth me investing my time in that?


Steven: Yeah, it's great. There's I'm going to butcher to this quote, but there's a great quote out there that's a CFO goes to the CEO and says, you know what, if we invest all this time and all this money into this individual and they leave and the CEO says, what if we don't and they stay? And so it's really about investing into your people. And and the return that you get on the investment is going to be much, much greater than if you don't pay attention, if you just assume or hope that they're going to get to where they want to go. In one way, this is about social psychology and around the law of reciprocity. When someone does something nice for you, you want to do something nice in return. But well beyond that, we're talking about employee ownership mentality, which is something we really strive for here. And when this is done well and you really kind of been able to facilitate this, your employees start making decisions as if they're the owner of the business. They start making the actions or doing actions, rather as if they're in or out of the business. And this is something we're really looking to to accomplish. And this is just one of the levers we can pull in order to to make that happen and to facilitate that type of mentality. But again, by investing in your employees, you get so much more in return. It goes beyond just I do something nice for you, do something nice for me. It's really something that is worth putting the time and effort into.


Sharon: So how do I begin, for one, if I don't have a process in place or how do I improve on my process, if I have some aspects in place, but perhaps not in a real developed process?


Steven: Yes. So to really start, I have a couple I'm working on a couple of people that are beginning this stage. It's just going to your employees, sitting down with them and saying, now, what do you want? What are your goals? Do you want to develop yourself as a really great leader? Do you want to increase your knowledge in this particular area of business? Do you want to where do you want to advance from a professional standard? A lot of small businesses have employees that are are trying to get a better understanding of what their role is and what their career path is. And as much as we we harp on and keeping people around for as long as possible, there's a good, good chance that at different stages people are going to leave. And it's it's much better for you to say, let me help you get to that next stage, because what can come back from that's great. So, again, to start it's asking, what do you really want, both professionally and personally? And then the follow up on that is the important part, a quarterly, monthly, however you want to structure that, saying now, what roadblocks are you experiencing or are you on track for this? This could be just the simple check in for that.


Steven: If you're already doing something like this, it could be time to really integrate it into the business itself in terms of a powerful process. So what I mean by that is creating customer incentive plans around those particular topics, around those developmental goals for this person. So going back to the leadership example, if I really want to develop as a leader my manager can say, hey, when you accomplish goal X, Y and Z, I'll send you to this leadership conference where you're going to really spend a week and immerse yourself into awesome leadership tools or speakers. That can be super incentivizing for someone who has that as well. And on the other side, on the personal side, if it's to buy a house, you can do something. Hey, once you are able to purchase that house, I'll help you. I'll buy a couch and do something like that. I know a guy who bought a year's worth of lawn care as a reward for accomplishing a goal so you can tie your incentive plan specifically to the developmental goals that your employees have. And that's going to have a much greater effect on being able to accomplish that.


Sharon: I love that, Steven. And let me ask you this... Is it a misconception that this is really for larger sized business businesses, or would you also apply this process to a business that has two to three employees?


Steven: Yeah, I don't think you can be too small. Well, you can incentivize yourself as a solo producer. But, you know, for now, it's if you have two or three employees and being able to work something like this into how your business operates, that is going to have a massive impact. The smaller your team is, the greater impact that this is that this type of process is actually going to have, because, again, we want the ownership mentality to be facilitated here and to have three rockstar people that are all acting like owners within a business that is going to scale your business subway faster than if you just said, great, here's your job, do this clock in and clock out. Have a good day. Really investing again into your employees at any stage of business is well worth the investment.


Sharon: I love this conversation today, Steven. What do you have to say to wrap things up?


Steven: Yeah, you know, if you're a business out there that's really looking to implement some sort of developmental program within your business. Easiest way to get in touch with us is denverbusinesscoach.com. You can contact us there and we'd be happy to have that conversation and help you get something situated.


Sharon: Great. Thank you. I hope you have a good day and look forward to our next conversation


Steven: You too, Sharon. Talk to you soon.


Sharon: All right. Bye bye.


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