Hiring and managing employees is one of the hairiest, most frustrating parts of being a small business owner. But it can also be one of the most fulfilling things, if you do it right. So let’s talk about it.
“Great employees are not born, they are developed in a business atmosphere where training is stressed, individuality is encouraged and personalities are respected. Word travels about the work environment in all sizes of stores. The key to recruiting quality employees is promoting and possessing a positive work environment no matter how large or small you are.” – Anne M. Obarski, customer service expert
1. Hire with purpose
You’re busy, but you cannot afford to be vague when it comes to hiring employees. You’re asking somebody to spend their time working for you – you want to make sure that it’s worthwhile for everybody involved.
Before you even hire someone, be clear about what exactly the job is. What are you going to be hiring people to do? What tasks need to get done? What are the specific demands of the job? What are the commitments and obligations? What are the expectations?
Hiring is something you never want to compromise on, if you can. In particular, you want to make sure that whoever you hire fits well in the culture of your company. An unskilled worker can be trained, but one with a poor attitude will be toxic for the rest of your working environment.
2. Make training a priority
Once you’ve hired somebody decent, you can kick back and let them run the show, right?
Of course not.
It’s unlikely that you’re going to find somebody who’s able to perfectly perform all of the tasks that you require of them. Anybody who’s so amazingly qualified for your role is probably looking for something bigger and better.
So you’re going to have to train them. You need to spend time and energy coaching your employees to get better at their jobs. As a minimum, you should have an ‘onboarding’ process where you walk them through everything they’ll have to do.
3. Keep your staff motivated
Once you have employees, your business now becomes ‘a place to work’. And whatever your business goals are, you’ll want your business to be a good place to work.
You can vary in terms of how obsessive and particular you want to be about this, but you want to be on the positive side of this. The moment your place becomes a bad place to work, the whole operation begins to get toxic. Your employees are less likely to treat your customers well.
You want to develop a practice of recognizing good work. Thank them when they do things right. Listen to their feedback.
Creating a great work environment is something to be proud about as an end in itself. And it has so many benefits. Employees will want to refer their friends to work at your store. They will treat your customers better.