How to Manage and Keep Good People
A team of employees at a meeting and sitting at a conference table
If you own a small business, your company will only be as good as the team working for it. Unfortunately, managing and keeping good people in your company can be tough! Between training, abiding by labor laws, offering compelling benefits, and figuring out how to become an effective manager, the learning curve is steep. Luckily, it is possible to learn to be a more effective manager, you just need to know where to begin.
Keeping Good Employees
Employees are the face of your company. They’re the first people to interact with customers, the points of contact for concerns and problems, and the ones who drive the growth of your firm. With this in mind, it’s essential to attract great employees, and keep them within your workforce once they’re hired.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few tips for keeping good employees in your company:
- Make the Job Description Clear. When an employee applies for your position, they should understand what they’re applying for. This requires you to write clear, detail-rich job descriptions. Be sure to specify required duties, applicable probationary and evaluation periods, requirements, and expectations. This reduces turnover and helps create happy, well-informed employees.
- Outline Benefits. While employees want to know what’s expected of them in terms of dress code, job duties, and training, they also want to know what they can expect from you in the way of payroll, work breaks, employee benefits, and retirement plans. When you make these things clear from the beginning, it’s easier to attract highly-qualified employees and cut down on the time you spend interviewing.
- Make Goals. Engaged employees are less likely to quit and go work somewhere else. With this in mind, set company goals and invite your employees to participate. Goals help promote teamwork, conflict resolution, problem-solving, and a good employee experience. They also help grow your business and expand your bottom line.
- Grow Their Skills. Like most people, your employees want to get better at what they do. To keep good employees in your company, give them the guidance they need, right from the beginning. Regular online instruction programs and in-person training seminars can help expand employee knowledge and reduce turnover.
Why Retention Matters
According to the Huffington Post, the cost of employee turnover can range from 1.5x-2.0x the employee’s annual salary to tens of thousands of dollars. With this in mind, it’s clear why retention is so important. To master employee retention in your company, follow these tips:
- Ask Employees About Their Experience. Happy employees are more likely to stay with your company than unhappy employees. With this in mind, poll employees about their opinions of your company and whether or not they’re happy in their roles. If they’re not, make the needed changes.
- Reward Efforts. To reduce employee turnover, reward your employees’ special efforts. Employees who take part in incentive plans work harder and are more likely to succeed than their counterparts.
- Praise Hard Work. Employees need praise. The more frequent and personalized the praise is, the better.
- Enlist Assistance. To prevent burning your best employees out, bring in temporary assistance during crunch times and busy seasons.
Leadership is an important aspect of managing employees. Here are a few tips to help you master it in your company:
- Plan Ahead. If you want to be a good leader, you have to master the art of forward-thinking. The more you can plan for the future, the more effective you’ll likely be.
- Have a Goal. There should be a goal or mission that informs your management style. This helps you stay true to your objectives and lead with a purpose. Remember that goals are flexible and fluid, and you may find yourself adjusting them as your brand grows and evolves.
- Mentor Your Employees. Mentor your employees. When you share knowledge and expertise, you become an authority figure people will admire. You also promote the scaling of your company and the growth of your profit.
What About Getting Rid of an Employee?
For most managers, firing an employee will eventually become a necessity. In these cases, it’s smart to know how to discharge an employee the right way.
While discharging an employee is never enjoyable, it’s a critical responsibility of management. The better you do it, the less likely your company (or the employee) will suffer negative consequences. Here are some tips to abide by:
- Keep the Meeting Short and Direct. Nobody wants to sit through an extended termination meeting. With this in mind, keep the meeting short, direct, and to the point.
- Don’t Offer Excessive Detail. You should tell the employee why you’re terminating them, but avoid going into too much detail, as it will only invite a response or argument.
- Maintain Professionalism. When terminating an employee, maintain your professionalism and courtesy at all times. Remember that the employee deserves respect and kindness, no matter how frustrated you may be.
- Change Passwords and Collect Property. Once the employee has been discharged, change all relevant passwords and codes and collect any keys or equipment that the employee had.
The Ins and Outs of Employee Management
The more effectively you manage your employees, the more likely it is that your company will be successful and sustainable. By communicating clearly, providing proper employee instruction and support, and understanding worker benefits, you will be able to build a high-quality team.
To learn more about keeping good employees, start your company’s employee handbook today. You should also complete Section 14 of the MOBI business plan template and sign up for MOBI’s “Starting a Business” course.