One of the significant challenges for small business owners is to go from having been an employee is their previous roles to being an employer.This can be a daunting step for many. Dealing with employees is not easy and adds a number of dimensions to a business – admin, payroll, industrial relations, scheduling, personalities to name but a few.
However, the biggest challenge is getting people to do what you want. Without an alignment of interest and endeavour, your business will sail through some rocky times as it grows.
There are a number of basic tools that I have always used to deal with employees:
People generally do not turn up to work to do a bad job – there is always a reason. Many a time the reason can be the problem of business processes – they actually get in the way of employees doing their job
Everyone wants to be loved – a little compassion and thanks goes an awful long way with staff. Surveys regularly show that remuneration is rarely at the top of the list of motivation for staff.
If there is a problem, talk to the person. Find out what is causing it. It could be business processes, it could be personal or family issues, it could be they are genuinely not happy doing the job.
If someone genuinely does not enjoy the job, encourage them to swap or move on. Many the time I have used the “if you don’t enjoy getting out of bed to come to work, think about why you should” talk to effect. In reality, an unmotivated and unhappy employee is doing both themself and the business a great disservice.
Applaud and encourage staff who move on to other jobs outside your business. Don’t be negative or resentful – either you were not doing enough to keep them or they wanted to go. See if you can find out why and adjust if necessary. Sometimes the good ones come back bigger and better than ever!
Always take the time to talk to staff when you come across them – a minutes’ worth of “how are you, how are things going” will repay you many times over.
The most important rule – as the “boss” you must earn respect not demand respect. Earn it and your staff will follow you, demand it and they may follow you.
I hope these give you some ideas.
Marshall Vann – Realistic Business Solutions
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