Staff – Who Needs Them?

Staff are one of the biggest headaches for small business but are also something that you just can’t do without.

Over the last month I have been talking to the staff of different businesses. From this a number of things have become apparent:

  1. They didn’t have staff meetings or if they did then they weren’t effective – the staff didn’t know what work was in the pipeline and who was doing what. There was never any reflection on what was working and what wasn’t
  2. Processes, if in place, were not followed by all staff
  3. Communication between staff was poor – little issues were getting out of control while fundamental issues weren’t being raised.
  4. The owner/manager was too much on the tools.
  5. The owner/manager had a very different perception of what was happening in the business than the staff did.

The overall result was disgruntled staff – which means poor work performance…

So what can be done?

Someone needs to MANAGE.

Management is crucial because you don’t get paid for what you do, you get paid for what your employees do. As such you have to do everything in your power to help them be successful – you succeed when they succeed.

Employees need the person in charge to make time to:

  1. Provide understanding – talk about the strengths and weaknesses in the business and how you are managing them. Ask for their input and ideas for improvement.
  2. Provide direction – 80% of the time talk about the future of the business. Let them know that they are a part of it.
  3. Walk the Talk – encourage and reinforce what you love about your business
  4. Understand the roles of the staff – make sure they are well defined and you have the right people in them
  5. Plan – set budgets or targets and review in team meetings – what is working what isn’t and Why? Delegate and mange workflows so that no-one is idle or too busy. Communicate what has to be done by when.
  6. Have procedures – how do you know something is being done effectively or not getting missed if you don’t have a benchmark to measure against. They don’t have to be complicated – it can be a simple checklist.
  7. Supervision – no one enjoys a micro manager but you need to take time to sit with each staff member every couple of months to see how they are doing their job. Ensure procedures are followed and ask for their ideas on improving them. Check that they have the training and tools to do the best job that they can.
  8. Give feedback – always respond immediately to a job well done or a job done badly.

Feel free to write a comment on how you manage staff issues.

Mariejan Bigby
Small Fish Business Coaching Toowoomba

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