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Equipping Employees

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Ever heard of the quote “team work makes the dream work?” Well, imagine a team that is able to cover for one another when the other employee is not able to work or when they leave the company.

Most of the time, we have heard and seen how businesses express their stress and frustration when one of their trusted, experienced and/or long serving employees decides to leave the company. It becomes a total nightmare!

In their words “so and so has left the company and they have big shoes to fill, we don’t know where to start with replacing them”. That can be avoided if companies equip all their employees to take on different roles in the workplace. More than often, companies will find someone to act in that position but later replace them with someone externally. So, why not train them so when that happens, the person acting is good enough for that job. You are probably wondering how this will benefit you as a business or how it will have a bad effect on the company, right?

I AM AN ENTREPRENEUR (IAAE) spoke to Managing Director at Bigen Global, Dr McLean Sibanda on how this will impact the company. “In today’s world it has become very important for the company to have very versatile employees that are able to adapt to the fast pace world of business,” says Dr Sibanda. Dr Sibanda says the fact that customers are now more concerned about their experience, in this regard, employees need to have a greater appreciation of how different roles affect a customer’s experience. He breaks down the advantages of equipping employees with skills to take over different roles in the company:

  • Equipping employees for different roles is also about personal and professional development of employees.

  • This also helps employees to realise potential growth areas and get fulfilment.

  • With the changing world of work, ensuring that employees take on different roles ensures sufficient supply of internal talent pool and reduces redundancy and increased efficiency.

As an employee, being trained for different roles in a company is more likely to put you ahead of the game, no matter where you go. As the employer, you are less frustrated when someone leaves or is unable to come to work. We can agree that with the good, comes the bad, Dr Sibanda gives us the disadvantages of making this decision as a company:

  • Naturally there is the possibility that some of the employees may get inefficient on their key role and in some cases, some may leave the company.

  • The other disadvantage may be having employees spread too thinly with possibilities of burnout, with potential mental health outcomes.

  • There is a story about a CEO of a company that wanted to invest on the development of the employees and the CFO said, “what happens if they leave, to which the CEO responded – what happens if they stay?

“In our company Bigen Group, many of us are encouraged to take on different roles, and I have found this to be important in building teamwork,” said Dr Sibanda. According to a study by Post University in the United States, when your employees are excited about your business and motivated to do their best, you will find success, because they will convey that excitement to your customers and through improved job performance. “When your employees are not engaged and lack enthusiasm about your company, you will struggle because your team members won’t perform up to par and they will find themselves looking for new opportunities,” adds the University. Dr Sibanda says some companies fear that their employees would leave once they have acquired new skills. “But with increased realization of the fact that employees are the biggest asset to a company, there are indeed more and more companies investing in the training of their staff,” said Dr Sibanda. What to take from this as a business owner? Big or small? Empowering your employees can be extremely beneficial.

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