Business acumen represents the combination of skills, knowledge, and experience regarding common business issues, the capabilities needed to solve them, as well as wise actions informed by previous experiences. Business acumen has long been a necessity for business leaders, but a growing number of organizations are now teaching these beneficial skills to their employees as well.
In fact, it has proved to be a particularly effective method for boosting employee productivity and engagement, promoting innovative thinking, and enhancing decision-making skills, all improvements that can benefit the operations and overall success of any company. If you’d like to leverage the potential of business acumen for supporting business growth, here are some important steps to take:
Align your strategies with your objectives
Every successful entrepreneur knows that strategies provide the organization with a clear vision, and a shared goal to strive towards. Strategy can drive decision-making processes and activities by following a standardized set of rules and assumptions. Not only do employees have to understand your business strategies, but they also need to know which responsibilities they have to take on in order to complete those goals.
Calculated actions have to be implemented in every effective strategy, but the wrong ones can quickly lead to unfavorable outcomes. For that reason, it’s crucial to utilize the full potential of business acumen. This can be achieved by teaching your teams how to develop exceptional decision-making capabilities that can later be aligned with the main goals and objectives of your company.
Create better town hall meetings
Town hall meetings are thought to be quite effective at improving employees’ understanding of important business issues and encouraging feedback along the hierarchical chain. But if you’ve ever held these types of meetings, you may have noticed that your staff isn’t always actively engaged or that your teams are only passively listening to the CEO’s monologue about business goals and strategies.
Town hall meetings are intended to support communication from the bottom up, and can only be truly successful when an open dialogue is present, rather than only a monologue. Your team members can often feel intimidated, discouraged, or simply lack the needed confidence to speak their minds. To realize the advantages and full potential of town hall meetings, empowering and encouraging employees to improve their business acumen skills will be vital.
Aim to empower your team members
Empowering your staff means increasing their ability to make independent choices, and then turning those decisions into actionable steps and consequently the desired results. You should give your employees the option to increase their confidence, develop critical skills, and grow and advance within their current roles, in an effort to empower them through business savvy.
To achieve this, you can build business acumen among your employees in a more interesting and engaging way, such as by leveraging gamification. Virtual, game-based programs are specifically designed to make business acumen more accessible to all teams while aiming to produce more well-rounded and self-assured business professionals. Not to mention that these programs are quite immersive and particularly fun to participate in, which might serve as further encouragement for your employees to build business savvy and translate it into their daily work as well.
Focus on enhancing decision-making skills
It’s often said that the most influential business leaders don’t actually make that many decisions on a daily basis. The reason behind this is the fact that they have strong teams at every business level that are capable of overcoming day-to-day work challenges and taking the necessary actions. This leaves executives free to focus on the most critical aspects of business, instead of having to solve smaller problems.
However, employees are only capable of making good choices when they are informed. In their daily work, your staff will use the most relevant data that’s available to them for making the needed decisions. Team members who understand your business goals and strategies tend to make better, more informed choices, which is why it’s so important to leverage business acumen for teaching vital decision-making skills.
Develop plans for personal action
The decisions and actions made by your employees don’t only work to enhance business operations; they can improve the overall work environment and maximize the performance of your staff as well. Continued improvement often involves enhancing all aspects of an organization, from the products and services to the tools and processes. Whether they’re small or big, it’s crucial for improvements to be frequent.
Business savvy gives every individual in the company the opportunity to identify potential areas of improvement, higher effectiveness inherently, as well as the right actionable steps to take. When a network of personal action plans is created according to main business objectives, this will combine to create better, more beneficial results for the company as a whole.
Business acumen is a great way to build organizations, setting a solid foundation for leaders in the making. Empowering your staff gives them the confidence they need to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Give them the opportunity to share their opinions, ideas, and unique voice, and watch as your company begins to grow as a result.
Written by Brigitte Evans