Your Staff: Keeping them on Their Toes!
By: Michael | Published: November 2, 2010 | Filed under: Small Business Human Resources
As small business owners, we all have our own personality types and management styles but one thing tends to hold true at the end of the day with employees: they must get their work done. When work isn’t completed or even not completed on time it is sure to reflect poorly for your company. It’s not an easy thing to do to have to explain to clients that their tasks were not completed because a member of your team dropped the ball. Obviously, the goal is to avoid this situation at all costs. Let’s look at how to clearly define to your employees what is expected of them, how to keep communications open, how progress can be evaluated, and when to cut your losses in a situation.
Just like laying any foundation, preventing employee conflict down the line starts with a good game plan. This is generally set in motion through a terms of employment document. The goal of this document is to clearly outline what the expectations will be for the job they will be completing. One of the most crucial aspects of this document that some small business owners leave out is a list of consequences for not completing a certain task, or complying with a certain policy. A great example is to address what the consequences are for receiving a customer complaint about the employee in question. Sample consequences include being put on probation after the first offense, and possible termination after the second. The beauty behind this clarity is that in the event you do need to dismiss an employee, you can clearly indicate the reason by justifying what they failed to comply with.
One of the most obvious ways to prevent having to terminate an employee is to keep on track of their progress. If things aren’t being completed at expected, attempt to determine what might be causing that discrepancy. For example, the staff member in question may be confused about some of the instructions and may just need some clarification. Checking in often with them can prevent this simple situation to escalating to the point where the task in question is overdue. However, if enough clarification is being provided and the employee is still struggling to meet deadlines, it has to be questioned if they can actually perform the task. If the task is one that was outlined in their terms of employment, and they still fail to perform it to expectations, then the consequences that were outlined can begin to come into play.
Another great way to keep things running smooth is to do routine evaluations. Sit with the staff member once every two weeks or so and discuss with them how they feel they’re doing in the company. Also, provide constructive feedback about how you feel they could perform better. The one other thing that can be discussed at this point is if they have any concerns. Hearing your employee’s concerns can really provide valuable, constructive feedback about your company, and management style. One thing that should always be made clear is that although you’re providing your staff member the ability to give you feedback, it’s entirely your call as the business owner if you want to implement it or not.
- Small Business Management Tips (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
- How Does the Quality of Leadership Impact Employee Motivation? (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
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