Subscribe online for mybusiness
My Business contains fresh,
easy-to-read articles, money-making
tips and expert advice.
Sign up for our E Newsletter
Our free, weekly newsletter brings you the best of this site, plus giveaways and other fun. Sign-up now and receive a free digital edition of My Business.
The staff motivator that works better than money for Australia’s fastest growing SMEs
Category: Case Studies
Story by "Justin Grey" | January 25, 2012, 9:39 AM
A study of Australia’s fastest-growing companies has found that an environment in which staff want to learn and apply new knowledge creatively is a critical ingredient for growth.
The study, conducted at RMIT’s School of Management, quizzed 253 companies that have achieved growth of 35% to 600% over the last four years. Lead investigator, Dr Carol Tan said the companies involved in the study included Aussie Farmers Direct and Pie Face
“Fast-growth SMEs are the high-power engines of our economy, comprising only 3 to 10 per cent of firms but generating up to 90 per cent of employment growth,” Dr Tan said.
|Pie Face is one of the businesses RMIT studied|
The importance of what Dr Tan called “learning orientation” emerged from the study, as many of the fastest growing companies studied had created an environment in which staff are committed to constant learning.
“These businesses know knowledge is power,” Dr Tan said. “It has always been said that learning is the only source of competitive advantage. You can learn from competitors, suppliers, anyone in industry.” Businesses that recognise this empower staff to learn, both formally and from trial and error. Teams are encouraged to learn from members’ efforts, so failures become as learning experiences not negatives deserving of censure.
Dr Tan said the study “Also found that rewards associated with performance do not make employees more market oriented or customer oriented. Money can’t buy creativity.” Willingness to learn, however, can achieve those outcomes because staff who want to learn will pick up the knowledge they need to understand the market and will ensure they have – or seek out – the knowledge to satisfy customers.
Tactics Dr Tan has observed which businesses use to create learning orientation include open question and answer sessions among staff, or adoption of social networking tools like Yammer to encourage collaboration. Physical environment is also important, Dr Tan said, as a pleasant one will stimulate staff to higher efforts.
Government news for business
To get on top of the threat, click here to access a Symantec.cloud White Paper and discover:
- The top 6 security trends SMBs need to protect yourselves against
- A Security Essentials checklist - the essential security controls required to cover these threats
- How Cloud Security services can offer significant benefits in security your business
Most popular stories
- Interview: Ruslan Kogan on social media, entrepreneurship and how startups can succeed
- My Business iPad and iPhone app now has four issues free!
- Announcement: Finalists in the 2011 ActionCOACH My Business Awards
- Facebook launches Small Business Accelerator Program
- 2013 ActionCOACH My Business Awards: How to Enter