“I get quite anxious when a certain employee arrives at work in the morning, as I never know what to expect. A happy, motivated team member or a grumpy individual who the customers will complain about? ”
I have heard variations of this comment from a number of business owners over the years. What is wrong with this statement? Absolutely everything.
Why, as a business owner are you walking on egg shells around your staff? Why are you giving your staff the power to define how your business day will operate?
The main reason we hire employees to work in our businesses is so that they can add value. The minute they stop doing this, they are damaging the business.
So how do business owners get stuck in this situation of feeling like they have to walk on egg shells around their staff?
Here are three key points to consider:
- Your employees are your employees, not your mates – You may get on extremely well with your staff members. You may share the same interests outside of the working environment, but do not lose sight of the primary reason for them being in your business. You are paying them to perform certain functions to service your customers. Crossing the line into mate territory only creates confusion and frustration for everyone. As the business owner, you are the one who clarifies and maintains the boundaries. Take ownership of that role and always remember your position within the business.
- Know your Human Resources procedures – One of the best gifts you can give yourself as a business owner is to know your HR processes. Understanding how to onboard an employee, train them, review them, reward and recognition them, discipline them and terminate a contract, if required. These are vital competencies for the success of your business and for your own sanity. By following the process correctly, the “lifecycle” of an employee, from the beginning, all parties know where they stand as there are clear expectations. This practise actually makes your staff members feel safe and part of an organised and well run operation. Set your staff up for success not failure. Again, take the ownership and responsibility to equip yourself with the right knowledge.
- Be consistent – “Consistency is a key element, without which a leader is incapable of getting respect, success or even developing confidence in others.” Daniel Transon. Sending mixed signals to your staff members and having “favourites” can be confusing and is a slippery slope to losing good staff and ultimately damaging your business culture. Being consistent in how you manage and lead each team member will only strengthen your professional relationships with them, which in turn will positively affect the business. Here again, it is your responsibility as the owner to ensure that you are exhibiting the right consistent behaviour.
On-boarding employees is a huge responsibility. To set yourself, your business and your employees up for success, ensure that you are equipped with the essential skills and knowledge and be consistent in your approach and finally, always remember your position within the business.