Yesterday, Stephen Covey—one of the world’s leading management-experts—passed away due to complications received because of an accident he had a few months ago. He was the author of arguably one of the best self-help/management books ever published – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The book, which has sold millions of copies and been published in nearly 40 languages, is revered by many and is part of the curricula in numerous schools and colleges. Though intended for individuals Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book can be applied to many scenarios, and one of that is the startup setup and how founders can be inspired by it.
Here's how those 7 habits can make your small business / startup effective:
Proactiveness is nothing but acting beforehand to deal with a probable difficulty. A startup has few employees at the time of its establishment but as it scales the numbers expand and things start getting complex. You can be proactive by instilling good HR practices, policies, and an HR management software.
Begin with the End in Mind
Be it management experts or renowned strategic thinkers, they all point to one thing, that an organization’s most important asset is its human capital. It is important that the company’s culture, values, and goals are envisioned to the employees and they are in-sync with what has been established.
Put First Things First
When it comes to any kind of management, including HR management, the most important aspect is prioritizing. So when managing your human resources, chart out a plan keeping the most important things on the top of the list and then execute it in that order. From our experience, the top to-dos are retention and engagement.
Most organizations, especially the traditionally setup small businesses in India usually have a mindset that says the employer is right (or might is right). However, in HR management, the best thing is to ensure a win-win situation when negotiating about something, keeping in mind all the stakeholders and the long-term vision.
Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Though most startups have a casual and vibrant work atmosphere, it is important to make sure the atmosphere promotes positive problem solving, caring, and respect. Whenever addressing an issue faced by an employee, listen to him or her emphatically and thus induce them to listen to you in the same way and understand your perspective.
For an organization to be effective, it has to ensure that all stakeholders work in tandem with each other. Thus, it is imperative that as a startup you tactfully unite the unique strengths of the different employees to ensure you got innovation. When you synergize, your startup will be productive.
Sharpen the Saw
A popular saying goes, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy". As an owner of a startup and a small business, you can enable your employees to sharpen the saw or rejuvenate themselves by having office picnics or arranging training programs. You can also arrange for self-help books and have movie sessions for refreshing their minds.
Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People book sure does help HR management, especially for startups and SMBs. We are sure you can make your startup more effective now, and also increase focus on HR management.