This is the seventh part of a 9-part series on 9-key strategic business areas that are vital for the continuity of services and operations.
Supporting skilled performers is even more critical now since they can create their own side-hustle and leave your company. But today, support looks different.
This past year has seen job losses, negative economic outlooks and trust in companies being there for their employees eroded.
In response, skilled professionals from all sorts of industries are turning to social media platforms such as Instagram or TikTok and running their own business, either in addition to their “day job” or as a replacement. These side-hustles include middle managers with “green thumbs” selling plants they have grown in home-based greenhouses, creative investment counsellors designing and selling their own clothing lines that are manufactured overseas, barbers providing tips and tricks on cutting your hair at home and so on.
These skill-based professionals have a vision and are using all their skills to engage with potential customers and grow their respective businesses in the gig economy. They are finding innovative ways to market their ideas, forging new B2B relationships, and, in turn, reducing the need for larger “one-stop” shop type retailers or service providers
And this puts you at risk of losing the high-skilled performers you rely on to grow your business.
So how do you keep employees from leaving?
Support them – but in new ways.
Employees who have a good idea and want to start a business to support their families and communities or who just want to be creative for personal growth are often at a crossroads in their professional careers. They may want to grow but be petrified to take the leap of faith due to their need for income security. And few companies today actually support – let alone encourage – their employees who want to go into business themselves.
Instead of restricting employees with conflict-of-interest clauses, you can take a different perspective and look for ways you can work with these “futurepreneurials” to build their business and your own. You can develop mechanisms to support employees with their entrepreneurial journey and share in this journey to grow your company through the networks they build and brand awareness they may provide.
However, keep in mind that even as you support these employees, you need to ensure they meet their current employment responsibilities and maintain a clear distinction between the time spent at the regular workplace versus on their own business tasks. Other factors to consider include succession/exit strategy planning development, branding relationship agreements, and protection of your organizational assets in order not to duplicate or redistribute your own company data or secrets.
Using Agile for Skill-based Transitions
To support your organization in its transformational journey, you can apply our Genesis Resiliency Agile User Stories method – which is unique in our industry - to a specific tabletop scenario that is relevant to you and your organization. The scenario you build can be as realistic or farfetched as you want – but it must prompt your organization to think, ideate and transform to meet the needs of all your stakeholders.
Below are examples of scenarios. For the full guide, download our "A Guide to Conducting an Agile User Story Tabletop Exercise".
You own a local salon with 10 employees.
Consider the following scenarios on transforming your business.
You will continue operating at 50% less income for the rest of the year.
One of your best employees wants to start their own business which will be in direct competition to yours.
Your customers want-at-home services.
Consider the perspective of one of your users – Customer
The expected benefit for customer the joy they feel by looking fresh and feeling awesome after a new cut.
Complete the process of Agile user story writing to develop outputs This story writing process will help identify blind spots in your continuity planning process and document corresponding strategies (i.e., outputs) that mitigate the risk to your user. The following outputs are examples of what can be ideated in our Agile user story writing process using the perspective of your customer.
Implement Health & Safety protocols for your staff & customers and ensure you communicate this through your online and social media channels. This will build awareness of the health protocols you have implemented and to provide assurances of what to expect when visiting your salon. (See our blog Return to the workplace: The importance of communicating your “Health Strategy” to your customers.)
Develop a mechanism of entrepreneurial support whereby you speak with your employee about what their vision is for their new salon and develop a plan of how you can support that employee financially or through mentorship.
Identify methods of using customer contact information databases to connect with customers who want at-home-services and attempt to make special accommodations at your salon if health protocols permit.
Implementing these outputs could lead to new and unique growth for your company while retaining your high-skilled employees. In addition, your partnership with your employee will provide them with valuable support on their entrepreneurial journey, which should benefit everyone when they make it big and remember who helped them.
The Genesis Resiliency method of Agile user stories strengthens understanding of supporting employees in their transitions from Service based industries into skill-based industries. Additionally, through the conversations and resulting outputs (or strategies) our method generates, your business continuity planning process is being continually improved, safeguarding your interests and those of our local, regional & global communities.
Author: Martin Gierczak, Founder - Genesis Resiliency