How many times have you heard someone say “it’s the people I work with that make me love my job – They are like family!”? I would imagine that this is a phrase, or variations thereof, that can be heard resonating through workplaces up and down the country every minute of the day.

The fact is that we spend more time at work than we do at home sometimes! Naturally we forge friendships in the workplace that form surrogate families to fill the gap when they are not around. Some will limit themselves to “Frinks” (Friday night drinks) whilst others will form such strong bonds that they will extend invitations to weddings or christenings. These relationships provide a family atmosphere and help teams engage positively in their work.

As employers we feel waves of different emotions toward our teams on any given day. Pride – when they achieve a difficult target by stretching their capabilities and learning new things. Disappointment – when they turn up late again, despite the numerous warnings you gave them. Compassion – when they lose their pet dog or break up with their boyfriend/girlfriend. Let’s face it, it can sometimes feel like they are our kids!

So, let’s imagine for one minute that they were your kids. Would you set your kids targets and walk away, leaving them to self-motivate and self-develop. I would imagine quite the reverse. Your parental instinct would see you guiding and mentoring your children to success.

Our people are our strongest tool and the way we develop them is one of the most important levers to success. We have all been guilty in the past of rewarding hard workers with a pay rise and a fancy new job title. But unless we follow it through with the training and development that will provide them the tools and techniques to effectively fulfil their role, we will fail.

We all take the education of our children very seriously and there is no reason that this should not stretch to our employees. Whether it is sending your sales teams on professional sales training or developing your leadership teams with management training, creating valued members of staff that feel like they are part of your “family business” will add real value to your results in return.