Successful small business growth requires setting expectations for success and helping employees grow
Start Up Handbook series part 4, Small business best practices after hiring the right candidate.
The new employee has been landed with the right expertise, potential and fit which is crucuial for a small business. Welcoming and onboarding the new employees will assure peak performance. This incliudes outlining company policies and benefits. In part 3 we looked at the hiring process Definitive Steps to Create the Optimal Small Business Growth Team
On boarding Employees (HR): On boarding employees is a critical process to get new employees off on the right foot.
Take into consideration the following:
- Employment agreement: Create an employment agreement that spells out the terms of the relationship and, in many cases, includes a noncompeting agreement. An attorney can help you prepare an agreement that meets the requirements for your state.
- Payroll/tax paperwork: Have the new employee fill out any required paperwork necessary to get paid, such as a W-2 form.
- Employee handbook: Create an employee handbook that explains the policies, standards, expectations and rules for your workplace, such as hours to be worked; how and when employees are paid; benefits offered, such as health insurance, sick or vacation leave and retirement plans. Keep your handbook as simple as possible to avoid misunderstandings. An HR consultant or attorney can help you develop this handbook.
- Introduction to facility and staff: Don't leave your new employee on his or her own on the first day. Take time to explain job duties and get acquainted. Give the employee a tour of your workplace and introduce him or her to co-workers.
- Mentor/guide: Consider teaming each new employee with a mentor or guide on your staff. This can be a supervisor or a co-worker who can answer questions and get the new employee started. Creating a feeling of team spirit from day one will help build a good employee relationship.
Employee Training and Development:
It is crucial to getting the most from your employees, so you need to answer key questions prior to developing an adequate employee training program:
- What skills do your employees currently have?
- What additional skills would help them perform better in their current jobs? This could include learning new software programs, improving their people skills or communication skills, or learning how to use a new tool in your industry.
- Looking to the future and the company's growth plans, what additional skills do employees need in order to grow with the company? For instance, if you will be opening a second retail location, are there some employees who could be groomed to manage that store? If you are adding an e-commerce component to your business, some employees will need to know more about that area.
- Last but not least, ask your employees what skills they are interested in learning. The answers may surprise you. Employees will be more invested and engaged in their work if they are able to shape the direction of their careers, so you should always consider their interests as well as your needs.
Attaining Peak Performance:
Different people have different peak performance levels. Some employees can only perform tasks. Others can follow a process. Still others can develop systems and processes. At the highest level, there are employees who can lead and manage an organization.
Most growing businesses have places for employees at all of these levels. As you observe employees, you'll begin to understand what they are capable of. Use training and enrichment to help each person reach their peak performance.
Next- Employee Reviews and Problem Employees
About the author
Marjorie Weber has been educating entrepreneurs and guiding them in their search for capital for the past 16 years: combining business training programs with one-on-one mentoring. Marj is currently a financial advisor for Florida SBDC at FIU. She was Chair of SCORE Miami Dade from 2010 to 2014. She also serves as an advisor to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program and the SBA Emerging Leaders Program and provides training for Veterans seeking an entrepreneurial path upon retirement from the service. She has been facilitating workshops under the auspices of Miami Bayside Foundation for the past 3 years. She commenced her career as a real estate investment banker in New York and Miami.She uses these long term relationships to assist her clients in accessing capital. She knows both the process and the people and has assisted in providing financing for hundreds of businesses in Miami Dade.