As your business grows, you’ll need to hire others to work for you and delegate tasks according to their skills, abilities and job description. Get the right people on-board and contributing as fast as possible. Creating a culture where you have high performing individuals is key to improving the trajectory of your success.
Hire the Right People
Job descriptions are important and should accurately depict what it is that the employee is required to do on a day-to-day basis. If a candidate is hired believing they are going to be a data entry clerk, but you have them sweeping the floor all day long, they’ll be looking for another job sooner than you think.
Before you start the hiring process, I recommend that you first create a Position Contract and then a task list. Indeed.com has information available online to help business owners create job descriptions and determine the reasonable rate of pay for the position based on duties, experience and education. Also, the Bureau of Labor provides the same information. Payscale.com is another very good resource, especially if someone moves from another state as the pay and cost of living may be similar or very different.
Before you hire a candidate, make sure their vision and values match those of your company. Hiring the right people the first time can help ensure the right fit for the job. Evaluate whether they have the right skills to do the job through education or experience. Our firm has a variety of temperament and skill evaluation tests that will save you the cost and hassle of hiring the wrong candidate.
Discuss the mission, vision, and values of your business during the interview. Candidates who don’t demonstrate the same values as your business will bring their own. You may not want their values polluting your workplace. If they don’t share many of the same values, they may not be a good fit.
Don’t forget to check the candidate’s references and ask about performance. You can also use a social media network like LinkedIn to see if they have recommendations from supervisors and peers.
Start with your onboarding process with culture. Discuss the mission, vision, and values of your business during orientation. Let employees know how their role helps to contribute to the company’s overall mission and goals so they will know that their role is vital and important to the business.
When you hired your employee, they came with education or experience that indicated they were suitable for the position. This doesn’t mean that they know the job requirements. Provide on the job training to ensure they have all the required knowledge and tools to do the job that you hired them for. Every company does business differently, and it is unfair to throw someone into a position and expect them to do things your way.
Have regular training sessions on new and improved methods. Send employees to classes and seminars that focus on both the strengths of the employees while providing them with ways to do their jobs more effectively. This can be learning a new conflict resolution process, data entry method or customer service improvement. Employees who learn new ways of doing things and who feel they are able to come to you with new ways of doing things will be happier in their positions.
Small business owners rarely give quarterly, semi-annual or annual reviews and evaluations to their employees. To simplify this I recommend a two-step solution:
- Have a one-on-one meeting with employees each week or every two weeks. It should only be 15-20 minutes long and gives the employee and employer an opportunity to discuss past issues, problems and concerns. You can also discuss the present and future weeks goals.
- Perform no less than semi-annual employee evaluations. The one-on-one meetings should make the semi-annual evacuations shorter and less complicated because day-to-day matters have already been addressed and resolved.
Consider if your employees are adding value to your business by either freeing up your time or improving your brand reputation. Are they assets or liabilities? Always think about whether or not employees are adding revenue to your business.
If you have made sure your processes and procedures allow for a certain level of performance by each and every employee, yet you find that one employee who can never seem to perform, then it’s time to have a conversation. Treat them with respect by asking questions to determine why they are underperforming and provide coaching, peer mentorship or additional training to get them back on track.
Employees who are motivated to continue their employment will improve their performance after coaching or retraining. However, there are employees in the world who just want to do as little as possible. People who underperform require their peers to pick up the slack. Underperformers often will bring morale down by complaining and criticizing. This is bad for company culture and morale and is a drain on company resources both financially as well as in the production capabilities of those around them. If the employee has been trained, coached and retrained and is still underperforming, it’s time to let them go.
After you’ve hired and trained your team, it’s time to let them do their jobs. Increase your return on investment by delegating and learning to let go. In the third and final article in this series, I’ll share exactly how to do that.