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Companies Don't Succeed, People Do!!!

The customer is king is a very popular adage which implies that a company can only be successful when it is built on a collection of satisfied customers. However this can only be done with adequately motivated work force. The truth is employees will never treat customers any better than they are being treated, because generally people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care!!!

Most SME's in Nigeria do not have any capacity building policy for themselves not to talk of their staff. From my survey, there is virtually no structured reward and recognition program because they are constantly struggling to make ends meet sustainable cash flow is a nightmare with the peculiar high operating cost of doing business in Nigeria. It's just like being on a trade mill working so hard but standing on the same spot.

As a leader you must spend time educating, listening and trying to create the type of environment that allows people to reach their potential. An effective recognition program to celebrate excellence and thank people for a job well done is crucial to igniting passion in your employees. The bottom line is that you have to invest in people and as they say cabbage in cabbage out. Learning is a treasure we carry everywhere we go. What you know is more important than who you know.

However, of paramount importance according to Jim Collins in his book, GOOD TO GREAT is to ensure that you got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus and the right people in the right seats- people are not your most important asset. The right people are!!!

Recruiting and retaining good hands is a big challenge. Good people with the right attitude, competent skills, and above all high ethical standards all together are very rare to find. If you are lucky to find them, you need to motivate, encourage and recognize them. A poll by fortune 1000 companies in USA indicated that ‚Äúlimited recognition and praise‚ÄĚ was number one reason why people change jobs. Only God knows the statistics for companies in Nigeria especially SMEs. One out of every five small businesses in America disappears within one year, in Nigeria your guess is as good as mine!!!

The right people are not overhead they are assets which is why they are called human capital as such they must be empowered, it is preventive maintenance to do so just like you put engine oil in your car. According to Mario Fernandez ‚Äúthe human spirit is nurtured by praise, as much as a seedling is nurtured by the soil, the water and the sun‚ÄĚ. Happy employees not TQM or re-engineering hold the key to future productivity and company success‚ÄĚ, William .A. Jenkins.

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