Commercial awareness is the latest buzzword in business, which keeps cropping up in conversations about HR, recruitment, and indeed training. While the benefit of new hires with commercial awareness is obvious, should you also be looking to train existing members of staff with better business acumen?
It clearly makes sense to re-skill your workforce for the age of digital work, but where will areas of expansion exist and how can you coach your employees to not only identify these opportunities, but also capitalize on them?
Learn The Basics of Finance
Commerce is the act or intention of making a profit. Therefore, it makes sense to start from the beginning and learn the basics of finance again. From payroll and deposit slips to expenses and turnover, remind your employees of how the business makes money.
By doing so, every action thereafter will be conducted with your bottom-line in mind. Thanks to a better understanding of commerce, you should see a reduction in overheads and a boost in profit margins.
Understand Where The World of Business Is Heading
The easiest way to gain a better understanding of what business looks like in the 21st century is to ask questions about your own organization. Do you know what's going on in the industry? How well do you know your customers? What external factors effect your business the most?
Once you understand all of these answers, share this knowledge with your employees for greater context. It doesn't have to be a formal occasion, simply a platform for the exchange of ideas and information.
Help Your Employees to Discover More
No matter whether it’s the Financial Times or LinkedIn, there is bound to be at least one business-based resource every member of staff enjoys reading. Therefore, think of ways to encourage your employees to absorb and use this information at work.
If you're struggling, consider including news and updates about the changing world of business in your company newsletter. Even if they have heard it all already, your workforce may have reached a different conclusion. So, don't shy away from the giving the company's stance or point-of-view.
Focus Training on Traits Relating to Commercial Awareness
Having commercially aware staff is all well and good, but putting this expertise into action requires a certain set of traits, which can be refined and improved upon with training.
For example, if one employee identifies an opportunity for growth, they'll need to communicate this in a convincing and compelling way. Being perceptive and knowing what to prioritize is also vital, as some staff might lose track of what the business needs to meet its objectives.
Make Commercial Awareness Part of Performance Reviews
By adding commercial awareness to performance reviews, you can ensure that your employees are accountable. Start with the executives, officers, and managers of the organisation, who will then start passing on their business acumen to other employees.
If expertise is a shared value at your business, then commercial awareness should become a part of every staff member's performance reviews as well.
A techno-geek, Olivia started working as a writer back in early 2000's and then has worked in various editorial capacities at a number of national technology publications. Currently a professional business and technology writer, she is also passionate about green issues. She has a unique perspective on environment, having actively engaged in nationwide campaigns and a number of research projects. She always has her finger on the pulse as far as tech innovations are concerned.