Running a business comes with a huge burden of managing people. After all, every business problem they say, is a people problem.
The demands of a growing business are burdensome and health draining in some cases where the business owner acts as the finance manager, marketing manager, procurement manager, customer service representative, and so much more.
Doing all these and hiring the wrong team members puts you at the risk of losing the business in its entirety. But, when done right, employee management can actually unlock an enormous amount of human potential. Below, we’ll look at some tips on how to set your business up for
1. Create functional systems (it’s not as difficult as it sounds). The temptation to micromanage employees can be strong, especially for entrepreneurs who are accustomed to having complete control over all aspects of their business. However, I recommend establishing a set of standards and expectations so that constant supervision is not required.
When on boarding and training new employees, your priority should be to halt your input as soon as possible thereby ensuring proper training to help them succeed. That means having clear expectations and channels of communication with people who don’t necessarily need you to function is critical.
Set up standard operating procedures for the entire business, beginning with the DOs and Don’ts that form your policy, the expected standard of production and service delivery for each department documented on paper, your mission, vision, and values, your target for the year, month, or quarter, your product description and in-depth value for knowledge selling, and a documented job description. (For example, tell your employees to write down what they do on a daily basis, review them, and add things you want them to do on a daily, monthly, or
quarterly basis). The advantage of standard operating procedures is that they allow you to control your service
standards, see your business in writing, and make adjustments as things change.
2. Be the type of leader you want to see in your employees
Employees look to their leaders for guidance on how to think and act in the workplace. Try to model the behaviours you want to see in your employees and be consistent. Modelling consistency and integrity will earn the respect of your team and show them how they can earn
Your responses to customers, vendors, and employees shape their behaviour, especially when things don’t go as planned. Reacting angrily or inconsistently to customers implies that employees can do the same. Your management approach must be consistent before it can be effective. Employees know when management fails to act consistently or fails to hold themselves to the same standards as
their subordinates. Don’t forget, your employees reflect your personality and character.
3. Help your Employees grow
The skills that your employees bring to you are merely generic and basic, not streamlined to your business. You owe them training, direction, feedback, and assistance.
If they were the best, they just maybe somewhere better. Involving them in the big-picture goals of the company helps them feel like they can grow at your business, no matter how uneducated or inexperienced they are.
Don’t be concerned about them leaving after you train; what matters is the quality of service they provide while they are with you. Learn to promote high-performing employees. Keep no one on the same level for too long. Help them see career advancement in your small business
and don’t take them for granted.
Don’t undervalue what your employees already know about your company and what they can contribute or even do after they leave.
4. Create a workplace culture. Forget the English, Let me explain…
When it comes to employee management, developing a strong workplace culture is your best bet for attracting top-quality applicants, retaining great employees, and increasing productivity.
It starts with implementing your core values and ensuring compliance. Don’t just pick an employee of the month based on the amount of gossip given to you, or how they are protecting the wrongs of the business. When you present awards, tell all of the employees exactly what
the employee did and how it relates to the milestones you want your company to achieve. Make it a habit, and other employees will see how they, too, can make meaningful contributions. Hiding performance metrics because you believe they aren’t paying attention is
risky for your business. If there are milestones, let them know, if It’s a difficult time, let them know. Don’t just say it verbally show them evidence. You’re likely to have more committed employees this way. There’s a lot of things you can do: Reimburse people when they spend their money, provide them with tools and resources needed for the job. Buy lunch when you can and sponsor office hours’ activities. These show employees that you don’t just care about the work they do but that you value them.
5. Know the business you’re in charge of
Only expertise can win authority. I’ve seen business owners cry because a certain employee took their trade secrets and customers with them. You must understand the business you manage. Be the best hairstylist or nail technician in your store while you have others. This will
allow you to review what other stylists have done and retain your customers regardless of what the rest knows. Don’t limit yourself; learn everything, or at least a portion of what you manage, and your employees wouldn’t take you for granted.
6. Protect your business
Have you been a victim of your employee leaving with your trade secrets, database, confidentiality information and more? Either converting them for personal use or giving to a competitor? This is a regular situation with small businesses of course MSMEs are not left out but its prevalent with smaller businesses. What can you do? Decentralise your business. Never have one employee take charge of production, operations, finance and customer relations etc.
I know you have a slim budget, but you’re safer in the long run with a more structured workforce. Let your accountant focus on income and expense, Reconciliation and other regulatory issues. Have your customer service rep take orders only without preparing them. Your admin can manage the logistics and procurement, while operations focus on doing the internal work without many contacts with clients., This way, an employee will need a lot to get hold of your entire business. Most importantly protect your trade secrets, database and control who has access to what. In some cases, have a non-compete agreement with employees according to business practice acceptable to your region.
I understand that not everything can be accomplished overnight, and that initiatives may differ depending on factors such as company culture, industry, and even financial capabilities. It takes time and consistent effort to develop strong leadership and talent practices.
Luckily, FMR Agency is the first consulting company to offer end-to-end HR services to small businesses directly without the cost of an entire HR team! FMR AGENCY brings elements of big-company human resources support to start-up, growing, and small companies.
From contracts and policies to recruitment and training to performance management, management advice/ payroll, leave management, conflict management, etc.
FMR ensures your business has experienced human resources support that allows you to keep your focus where it needs to be – your business. FMR will match you with a dedicated Human Resources Business Partner who gets to know your business, its goals, and challenges and supports you all the way! Unlike self-serve HR consultants who provide templates, FMR supports you with dedicated, value-added HR support.
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Call us: 09028896663.
Written by Thelma Ibeh
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