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Blurred Expectations

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Managing employees can be rough for a small business. Most likely you are team leader, department manager and CEO, not to mention head of HR and payroll. How does a small business manager find time to instruct, motivate and supervise while also having time to manage the books, customers and projects? More times than not small business owners begin to neglect their management duties as “more pressing” issues quickly overrun their daily activities.

Being the boss quickly becomes simply expecting everyone to do their job. This is not a bad expectation, but the underlying tone becomes that you don’t care. Employees began to feel that their job is not vital to the success of the organization and their performance starts to drop. As employee’s performance begins to waver you work harder to pick up the slack, further diminishing your ability to properly manage. This never ending cycle would drive anyone crazy, but it can be prevented!

Here are four quick tips that can change your perspective on your relationship with employees forever.
1. HIRE TO REDUCE YOUR WORK LOAD

A new hire should always reduce your personal work load. You hire someone because you get to a point where your time can be more productive elsewhere. That means that the new hire should free up your time not bog it down. Take the time at the beginning to properly train them and continue to invest just a few minutes every day in their lives and work. Taking time out to manage your employees will help them become more productive which in turn will help you become more productive (and successful).

2. MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS ON THE SAME PAGE

It is too easy to get busy and have everyone running in different directions. It is vitally important no matter what your business is to have weakly (or at least monthly) meetings with your whole staff. These meetings should be used to update employees on projects, answer questions, train and motivate, and remind everyone about your company’s overall vision. Be open with your employees and ask for their impute and advice. This is also a great time to thank your staff for their hard work.

3. HELP YOUR EMPLOYEES TAKE OWNERSHIP IN THEIR WORK

Nothing demotivates an employee more than not seeing a direct correlation between what they do and the organizations mission and goals. Help each employee see and understand that what they are doing affects everyone around them. Take this one step further and reward your employees based on the success of the company and the employee’s individual contribution toward that success. Employees will work hard and stay emotionally involved if they now that their work is noticed and rewarded.

4. CHANGE YOUR MINDSET ABOUT EMPLOYEES

Many small business owners fail to realize the power and importance of their employees. Small business employees should be treated as entrepreneur’s right alongside you, the owner. You may be taking a risk on them but they are also taking a risk on you. Treat them as business partners. Value their time and their work. Most important, realize that you can’t be successful without them. If you don’t take the time to properly train, coach, and motivate your employees your businesses full potential will never be met.

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