So you run a business. In fact, you’ve grown so much that you’ve hired a few employees. Maybe just one, maybe 20. Beyond the complications of just hiring an employee, there’s managing one. Which in the long term, will be much more work than getting them on board.
Interactions with your employees will be complex, however, I have found that breaking it down into 4 categories will make your job much easier.
Set the minimum expectations immediately. If there is a dress code, be specific. Using the term ‘business casual’ might be sufficient in your mind, but many teenagers (or even college students) don’t have any clue what you mean. Lay it out in detail – make sure they understand and agree before you assume anything.
Remember to talk about attendance, tardiness and code of conduct. If your employees are customer-facing, it may behoove you to have some type of contract. Let them know upfront what the consequences for failing to meet your expectations will be.
Sit down and make a list of your guidelines. Know them before your preach them. Conversations can get awkward if you’re making up the rules as you go.
It seems so simple. As business owners, we have already set more goals than we can count. If we hadn’t, we wouldn’t be in the position we are now. Think about how focused and driven you were when you had a goal to achieve. Your employees are going to be the same.
Make it tangible. Don’t ask them to work hard or be nice to everyone. Ask them to get 3 surveys per week or 5 business cards from potential clients. Maybe you’re building your email lists- ask your employee to record 10 per shift. Something worthwhile, tangible and measurable.
3. Critical Conversations
While I will go into this in detail later on, the one thing to remember is that a behavior ignored is a behavior leveraged. Critical conversations have a time deadline – immediate.
If your employee shows up to work late, have the conversation around the expectation they agreed to immediately. If your employee did not greet a customer as they walked through the door, address it immediately.
It sounds like a hassle, but if you don’t address the mistakes, they will become habits.
However, I urge you to give your employee the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they had their back to the customer and was engaged in restocking the shelves. Explain what you witnessed, ask for their point of view and ask them to keep a better eye on the door. Usually, this is all it takes to create a good behavior.
I love to be praised, it’s in my personality. In fact, I would bet that most people love to get praised. This is the most important part of interacting with an employee. Find something they did right every time you see them. You may have to look for it, but it’s there, and they will appreciate the recognition. Frankly, they will work harder to receive your recognition than your critique!
Doing these things are a minimum requirement for having employees and keeping them around. Don’t be afraid of any of these steps. You are the boss- as long as you approach your employee with respect, they will respect you in return.