Employees can make or break your business. As a business owner, it should be your resolve to establish hiring (and firing) practices that will enhance your business for years to come. Consider the following:
Who Are You Hiring?
A common practice of many business owners is that of hiring friends and family. Although this may appear to be a safe option, it has the potential to be quite disruptive in both your personal and work life.
Friends and family working for you may feel a sense of entitlement, knowing they have an in with the boss. They then may no longer feel compelled to work hard, assuming their close ties with management grant them permanent safety. When other employees take note of their lack of accountability, this fosters tension and animosity within the workplace. If firing is necessary, this could lead to an awkward and strained relationship between you and your friend or family member. In summary, it is wise to be especially selective hiring friends and family members.
Regardless of whom you hire, though, all employees should be required to sign a Confidentiality and Non-Solicitation Agreement once hired.
How Are You Hiring Them?
You’ve heard the saying, “Slow and steady wins the race.” That idea should be reflected in your hiring process. Don’t be in a rush to hire the first employee that floats your boat – take your time! Before interviewing, carefully compile a combination of questions, both basic and challenging, that will help you best come to know the interviewee. In fact, even include other staff members in the interview process; perhaps letting them interview the applicant one-on-one and then getting their feedback at a later time. Be sure to call all of the references he or she has listed and check their profiles on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Taking your time with this process now will surely save you time and stress later.
Happy employees facilitate a more productive work environment, so you will want to do all you can to keep efficient and effective employees. This can be done in several ways: offering stock ownership incentives, profit sharing, bonuses, paid continuing education, or higher positions to those who meet your business’s leadership criteria. From time to time, ask for their opinion on office policies and procedures and thank them for their suggestions. It’s also important to celebrate successes within the office, whether these are accomplished collectively as a business or by a single staff member. This practice of rewarding hard work retains diligent employees and encourages others to enhance their performance to receive similar recognition.
Holding employees accountable for their errors requires balance. Although the learning process of any job allows for mistakes, employees should always come to understand how or why the mistake was made and how to avoid repeating the same mistake. Some employees, however, may repeatedly respond adversely to correction, in which case it would be necessary to re-evaluate their overall performance and their role in your business.
When To Fire
If an employee consistently displays a negative attitude that discourages effort and causes disruption within the office or if they are underperforming, provide needed correction and follow up frequently. If their response is unsatisfactory, firing may be the best solution. Keeping such an employee could spell disaster for your business, so terminate him or her quickly and remind them of the legal agreements they signed upon their arrival to ensure that they do not share sensitive information or steal clients from you.
From a financial standpoint this can be a tricky process to navigate. If you’d like professional advice on these matters or any other issues regarding your employees, feel free to schedule a meeting for a business analysis with us today. We’d love to help!