The best staff management strategies for your small businessStuart Taverner
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. For many people, when they set out on a business venture, being able to bring on paid employees is hugely satisfying moment. But, as it is with many things in business, the work doesn’t stop there.
You may need to adopt effective management techniques to get the best out of your employees and increase your 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
At this point 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. You’re ready to expand your business or free up more of your own time. Being able to get manage your staff right, from the start, is important. Small business employ nearly five million Australians, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all happy, productive and working to the best of their ability.
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 these five questions when making your next hire:
- Is this person passionate about their job?
- Is this person a team player?
- Does this person share your vision (both current and future) for the business?
- Do they have the right skills for the job?
- Does this person have the right attitude?
Whether you choose to do job interviews, trial shifts, reference checks or another way of vetting prospective employees – it’s vital that you get answers to the above questions. Understanding what motivates your new employee will be invaluable down the line. Here’s a handy hiring employees checklist you can download.
4 ways to 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:
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 either, you can offer free lunch, flexible working hours or casual dress days. Don’t be afraid to ask what your employees they would prefer, and then reward them with it.
On flexible working hours, the Australian federal parliament suggests that a higher rate of adoption would allow employees of small businesses to better balance work and caring commitments. It would also give workers the capacity to choose shifts, rosters and alternative working arrangements that better suit their circumstances.
Does providing incentives and rewards to your employees appeal to you? Huffington Posts suggests that an extra paid day off, gift cards, tickets to the movies, or other low-cost ways are a good way to show your appreciation.
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 private or public acknowledgement. Get to know your employees, their preferences, and recognise their achievements 1-on-1 or in front of other employees. This may seem like a small thing, but the last thing you want is to embarrass a shy employee – quickly turning a positive gesture into a negative experience.
Another option, particularly if you have a few employees, is to establish a recognition program where the winner enjoys special perks in the workplace or even a profit sharing arrangement. This requires a little more work but can give employees a much greater sense of ownership over their workplace.
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. If done correctly, this can be a win-win for everyone. This is because more autonomy for your employees can mean less work and time-consuming oversight for you – leaving you more time to focus on growing the business.
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. While this may sound like a huge task, there are lots of affordable training and development opportunities that can benefit employees, and in turn, the business.
If you’re looking for something a bit fun, try getting your employees to present their skills and knowledge with other members of the team. The presentations don’t even have to about work. A short PowerPoint presentation from a colleague on their favourite hobby is a fun way to raise morale and motivation.
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. These include ideas on improving 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 many 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.
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