A business is only as good as its team. Whether your business team is 2 people or 20, you are responsible for managing their effectiveness and productivity. So how do you manage a workforce well?
First, create an Employee Handbook
Before you can successfully hire employees, it is important to have a basis for training, work conduct and all other policies. Put policies in place that you can and will uphold. The Handbook should be given to each employee to make certain that they know the expectations and consequences of failing to abide by those expectations.
TIP: Your Employee Handbook should address the following topics: Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), Invention and Intellectual Property, Conflict of Interest Statements, Anti-Discrimination Policies, Compensation, Work Schedules, Standards of Conduct, General Employment Information, Safety and Security, Computers and Technology, Media Relations, Employee Benefits and Leave.
Second, Hire the Best
Be slow and diligent in hiring. Make sure to verify all references and prior employment. Maintain an employee job description in the Handbook.
TIPS: Evaluate potential employees by brains, passion and integrity. Maintain ongoing training programs and keep all employment records for at least four years.
Third, Organize Your HR
Human Resources (HR) encompasses all the tasks related to future recruitment, safety, employee relations, compensation and benefits, policy compliance, training and development. It also keeps track of all the important employee information.
TIPS: People are the most important asset in an organization so do not overlook the importance of being well organized regarding all aspects of human resources.
Here is what the HR (or your admin) should keep in your employee’s files:
- Personnel file – application, emergency contact, disciplinary actions, resume, handbook, Sign-off, contact info, job references.
- Payroll files – Payroll files contain a history of the employee’s jobs, departments, compensation changes, garnishments, loans, and other information essential to paying an employee and keeping a copy of the employee’s compensation history.
- An employee medical file is also maintained. The employee records in the medical file are not available to anyone except Human Resources designated staff and the employee whose records are retained in the file. Medical files, because of the confidentiality of the employee records, receive the highest degree of safe storage and confidentiality.
Fourth, Design an Employee Experience and Great Culture
The business starts with the employees, so what kind of vibe do you want your
business to have? Google is known for its creative, innovative atmosphere. Microsoft is more about business and keeping everything organized and structured. Both of these vibes reach out to a particular audience and workforce.
TIPS: Think of businesses in your industry that you respect for their vibe and atmosphere and choose what works for yours. You do not need to offer free lunches and have a beer for all staff once a week but you need to make sure you are creating a business culture where people enjoy their job and their work environment. Sometimes it’s the little, inexpensive things you add that can make a difference.
Fifth, Train Well the First Time
If you train each employee the right way the first time, you will save a lot of time down the road. You will also avoid any character clashes related to differentiation in training. This means following all the policies outlined in your Employee Handbook. Update training often and promote professional growth on your team – allow them to take classes, seminars and attend meetings to further knowledge.
TIP: Train them to be independent of a manager but show respect to whatever manager they have. And finally, cross-train everyone. If someone is sick and that important document needs to get to that client, you will know that your team can handle it.
Sixth, Communicate Clearly and Give Feedback
You are the leader. So lead by example and show leadership by building an atmosphere of mutual respect and fun, ensuring constant communication with all team members. If somebody did something good – or bad – tell him or her immediately.
TIP: Solicit employee ideas, respect individuals outside of their job, give meaning, constructive feedback, appropriate praise, keep an open-door policy, practice transparency and honesty, prove support for employees who need it, and follow all the policies outlined in your handbook.
Seven, Be a Visionary
Make goals and benchmarks clearly known and make sure to follow through with whether or not you met those goals. Look ahead at where the marketplace is going, the challenges your business might face, and the solutions you might need. Lend a hand where necessary and do not be hesitant to share knowledge and expertise. And lastly, lead with vision, displaying a broad imagination.
Eight, Eliminate Distractions and Be Flexible
Consider instituting paid independent projects, flexible hours, and even
telecommuting. Your employees might benefit from a change in scene. But for those who need structure, design a system and environment for them to thrive. Make sure that your work environment is suited to help each employee do the best at his or her job.
TIP: Keep in mind the entrance interview you did – your employees probably told you how they work best. So do not be scared to offer conditions outside the “standard schedule.”
Nine, Inventive Incentive
Some of the most effective managers have devised unorthodox incentives. These can include enhanced mentoring, offering an increased role in large meetings, or even giving employees the chance to take control of a “passion project” on business time. Ask your employees what they believe in, and find ways to provide genuine, subjective value in exchange for great work. Also, design economic incentives for all levels of employees, not just the management. If each job is important to the business, each employee should know that.
TIP: Showing you treat everyone equally is a good incentive by itself.