Small businesses might start with two or three employees. At this level, you are unlikely to run into too many problems, but once the business begins to grow and prosper, it is a good idea to have basic HR strategies in place. So if you want to know how to retain good employees and manage out the bad ones, here are a few tips to get you started.
Hire the Right Employees
An awful lot of pain can be avoided by hiring the right personnel to begin with. The right skills are important, although these can be acquired via staff training on the job, but personality and attitude is just as important, especially in a small business with very few employees.
You or your HR manager needs to be adept at hiring the right people. You want loyal, high-performing people who are going to stick around for the long-term, so create the right procedures from day one.
Training and Development
Nurturing employees is good practice. Creating an environment where employees can learn new skills, develop existing ones, and feel as if they are progressing in their career, is essential. You need to identify where you have a skills shortage and implement a training program to fill the gap. Provide workplace training or fund training for employees who want to learn new skills in their own time.
Talented employees are less likely to leave for pastures new if you provide them with the right learning environment. Employee feedback is always recommended reading if you are looking to improve any training programs provided.
Manage Employee Performance
Staff appraisals and regular reviews are useful tools for managing employee performance. Use feedback gleaned from these to help you guide your workforce. Receiving feedback is just as important as giving it, so don’t forget to listen carefully to what your staff are telling you.
Bonuses can be a part of your performance review process. For example, if an employee is performing well and meeting their targets, they become eligible for a bonus, but if they fail to meet pre-set targets, then an appraisal is a useful opportunity to find out why (and whether there is anything you can do to assist).
The vast majority of employees don’t want to work for free; and who can blame them? Your job is to find the right level of compensation so employees feel valued. If you strike the right balance between salary and benefits, your employees will stay, but if you get it wrong, they will move on fairly quickly.
Part of the role of a HR department is to manage employee compensation and benefits packages. These need to be fair and suitable for the job, but be open to offering high-performing employees a pay rise, as this will encourage them to stay with you.
It isn’t easy managing employees on top of running a business, but it pays to get up to speed as quickly as possible, or you could lose your top people to competitors.