Staff management in small business

It is no secret that the way you manage staff in a small business has a significant influence on their productivity, performance and job satisfaction. As a business owner, you may need to adopt effective management techniques to get the best out of your employees and increase cash flow. Your staff management style will determine how motivated your employees are to participate in and contribute positively to the workplace and treat it as if it were their own.

Sometimes managing your employees effectively to create a productive and successful business can be very time consuming and challenging. We have put together some ideas on how you can help your team— whether it’s one person or a dozen— reach their full potential in the business and be on your side.

Employ the right people

You’ve probably been an owner manager for a while and you’ve realised that you just can’t do it all on your own or you’re ready to expand your business or free up more of your own time. And getting staff management right, from the start, is important. Nearly five million Australians are employed by small businesses but that doesn’t mean that they always get it right.

‘The most effective way to boost staff performance and morale and create a good team culture is by ultimately choosing the right people when it comes to small business hiring.’

The most effective way to boost staff performance and morale and create a good team culture is by ultimately choosing the right people when it comes to small business hiring. Sure, you will need qualified staff members but you also need to consider the following five questions when making your next hire:

  1. Is this person passionate about their job?
  2. Is this person a team player?
  3. Does this person share your vision (both current and future) for the business?
  4. Does this person have the right skills for the job?
  5. Does this person have the right attitude?

Here’s a handy hiring employees checklist you can download.

Motivate your employees

Once you’ve gotten through the small business hiring process, it’s still crucial that you keep your team engaged. Highly motivated employees are more likely to work harder, record fewer absences from work and deliver higher levels of performance, which all leads to better cash flow and success in your business. There are many ways and strategies for motivating employees, these include:

Rewards

There is no better way to motivate your employees than rewarding them for a job well done. Meaningful rewards and prizes can have a positive influence on employee attitudes and behaviour. You don’t have to give out cash incentives, you can offer free lunch, flexible working hours or casual dress days.

On flexible working hours Parliament of Australia suggests, ‘A higher rate of adoption would allow employees of small businesses to better balance work and caring commitments as well as giving workers the capacity to choose shifts, rosters and alternative working arrangements that better suit their circumstances.’

If providing incentives and rewards to your employees appeals to you, Huffington Posts suggests ‘… an extra paid day off, gift cards, tickets to the movies, or other low-cost ways to show your appreciation.’

Recognition

Recognising staff contributions and performance is critical in any workplace. Some experts have even suggested that recognition is the number one motivator in the workplace.

You can do this through a simple public acknowledgement or by establishing a recognition program where the winner enjoys special perks in the workplace or even a profit sharing arrangement.

Autonomy

You can motivate your staff by giving them the freedom to work in their own way. Think of ways you might give your staff ownership of tasks and involve them in your business as much as possible.

Responsibility

Motivate your employees by allowing them to make decisions and work without unnecessary supervision and micromanaging. Creating training and development opportunities for your employees’ personal and professional growth, will also boost their performance.

Communicate effectively

Part of being a great leader is being clear and open when expressing your expectations to your employees. By taking the time to plainly explain what is expected of them, your team will have an easier time making informed decisions and working collectively towards achieving set business goals. This will allow them to focus on their tasks, with a good understanding of exactly what’s needed and will save them wasting time on unnecessary areas.

Encourage open communication between you and your team members and involve them in the decision making processes where possible. Most business owners who communicate effectively admit that they receive valuable ideas from their employees on how to improve their cash flow and other important financial activities.

It has been shown that there’s an ‘…iron-strong link between employee productivity, and informed and communicative supervisors…’

If you’re not all based in the same location, there are a wide variety of apps and platforms that support open and regulation communication as well as thorough documentation. Or you can encourage regular in person meetings to keep the channels of communication open.

Effectively manage and automate your employees’ wages with Wages Manager.

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