How to successfully manage your Employees

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Small business and government grants resources home
Small business and government grants resources home

How to successfully manage your Employees

You've just been in a serious car accident. You've got massive internal injuries and a broken jaw. You're going to be in the hospital at least a month. Your jaw is wired shut so you can't use the phone. Will your business run easily and well while you recover? Will your customers be served while you are gone? If you've just experienced heart failure over this prospect, the following list is for you. The information below, if put into practice, will reduce your stress, increase your business' productivity, and give you the vacation you so richly deserve. Here's the top ten things you can do to make your business run as smoothly as possible.

1. Hire wisely.

Most businesses hire bodies for particular jobs rather than people to help build a future. Your business is only as good as each individual employee's contribution to its functioning. Therefore, look for the three i's when you hire: intelligence, initiative, and integrity. For every position, from receptionist to packing clerk, hire only the best you can find. Conversely, if you have current employees who are not performing well, consider whether they are a wise investment of your money.

2. Build a team, not your ego.

Many employers let their egos dominate their interactions with their employees. Stop the pattern. Instead, trust your employees to do their jobs. Make each employee feel that they are an invaluable member of the company team. Let each employee know they are an integral part of the company's end product. Set the example for positive interaction at all times between members of the team even when ideas or performance must be corrected.

3. Reward well.

When you get good employees, reward them financially and emotionally. Be sure their pay is at least at market rate. Take time often to acknowledge each employee's contribution. The two biggest loyalty builders are two simple words -- thank you.

4. Be hands on.

Know each employee's job and how to do it. This not only gives you an automatic reserve employee and trainer (yourself), but has an added bonus. If you show an employee that you are willing to learn or have learned his/her job, you are communicating that you believe their work has value. Every employee needs to know that whether they are emptying trash cans, setting the presses, or selling the large accounts, their work is worthwhile and valuable.

5. Make your employees versatile.

In a small company, every employee should know how to do at least two jobs, particularly on the technical and service sides. For critical tasks, at least three employees should know how to do each job. Thus, you always have an on-the-premises reserve who can step in when needed.

6. Give away tasks, but not ultimate leadership.

What is it you do best? Are you the idea man, the best salesman in your company, the organizer? Find your best talent and then delegate all other tasks to your employees. Train them appropriately to do their job, let them know you have confidence in their ability to perform well, and then let them do their jobs. Adding responsibility with confidence will increase your employee's willingness to work and their pride in the company's end result. At the same time, you must maintain ultimate leadership. In any well run ship, the captain makes final decisions and you are still the captain, albeit a benign one.

7. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

You must talk with your employees, solicit their suggestions, and positively correct their mistakes. Conversely, you must create an atmosphere where employees are willing and able to talk with you. The two best sources of information on how your business is doing and how to improve it are your employees and your customers. Pay attention to both.

8. Give your best and always and encourage the same in your employees.

Pride in the company and its product or service always begins at the top. If you give a half effort or let a sloppily produced product go out the door to a client, you are sending a message to your employees that you do not respect your clients or your work. Your employees will adopt that view as well. If you set the example of giving the extra effort, pitching in when needed, caring about your fellow team members, working as a unit to be the best in your particular business, and taking care of the bottom line, your employees worth having and keeping will follow suit.

9. Encourage innovation and creation.

Give your employees a stake in the future. Once a month, have a meeting where the employees make suggestions on how to improve your product, service, efficiency, or bottom line. Give monetary rewards when the ideas produce increases to the bottom line. Give positive encouragement for the process.

10. Have a second in command.

No general goes into battle without a major who can take over if he is felled by a bullet. You are your business' general and must act accordingly. Find someone you trust within your company who has the same goals, ideals, and a similar business style. Train him/her appropriately. Let others know he/she has your confidence and authority when you are gone. When that is done, leave on vacation and test the theory out. If you have completed steps 1-9 above, your business will run easily and well and you will have regained a healthy balance in your life






How to Become a Master Networker

Networking...1980's style was a fad. It was the yuppie answer to the good ole' boys. Over-dressed and over-ambitious people attended over-crowded cocktail parties and frantically swapped business cards while planning to "do lunch" soon. No longer a fad, networking in the 90's is a survival success skill. In our competitive business world, the more contacts we have..the more people who know about us and what we do..our talents and abilities...the more opportunities we will have. For some people, networking comes naturally. Their antenna is always up. They actually have FUN with it. However, for most people, networking is a learned skill and one that needs practice in order to feel comfortable and be effective. Try these tips to give yourself a jump-start and enjoy the rewards of becoming a Master Networker.

1. Develop the right ATTITUDE.

You have to want to make the effort! We are all attracted to people who are approachable and friendly. SMILE and ENJOY the opportunity to make new contacts.

2. Network EVERYWHERE and with EVERYONE.

The opportunities to make new contacts are endless. People frequently think of networking only at events such as Chamber of Commerce meeting and Professional Organization. Some of the most productive contacts come from chance the grocery check-out line, at the ball park, in the doctor's or dentist's waiting room, in an elevator, at a party, and the list goes on. Whenever and wherever there is another human being there is an opportunity to network.

3. Set a Networking Goal Each Week.

Set a goal each week for the number of new contacts you want to make. Start with even one or two until your confidence grows. Then, increase the goal.

4. Make The First Move.

Greet everyone with smile and a friendly hello followed by a positive comment or open-ended question to get a conversation going. At a party or other gathering approach people standing alone and draw them into conversation. Most people hesitate to approach a group of friends already in conversation. The individual standing alone will welcome your approach and you will find it easy to initiate an interchange.

5. Work Up A Memorable Introduction.

In twenty-five words or less be prepared to say who you are and what you a way that will make the other person want to know more about you. Then, immediately ask questions to learn more about your new contact. Use their name several times during the first five minutes of conversation.

6. Arm Yourself With Professional Business Cards and Wear An Attractive Name Tag.

Both business cards and a name tag, especially a name tag that lists your profession or business name in an intriguing way helps attract the interest and reinforces name recognition. John Doe, Business Coach , is almost guaranteed to prompt questions about what coaching is...a great opening to share your expertise and gain new clients or referrals. When you do swap cards with someone, jot down a reminder on the back such as where you met, what you discussed, sales opportunities, etc. Printing a quote, helpful hint, or other original and interesting information on your own card will encourage others to keep the card and remember you. Finally, always carry your cards in an attractive case. Dog-earred and stained cards dug from the depths of a handbag or pocket detract from your professional image.

7. Be Prepared With A Mental GET & GIVE List.

Networking is a reciprocal process. It is about getting and giving information, resources, advice and referrals. Maintain a mental "Give List"...a tip, idea, resource, or recent discovery you can share. Your "Get List" will be information you are seeking, people you want to meet, and referrals you would like to have.

8. Organize Your Network Resource Bank.

Record new acquaintances and contacts on your Team 100 List, in a rolodex, use computer software or even index cards. Set up whatever system works best for you to keep in touch and nurture your new contacts.


Use your resource file to keep in touch with those in your network. Never give out your card and say, "give me a call." Follow-up is your responsibility. Research shows that amazingly only 20% of sales leads are ever followed up....80% of potential opportunities are lost by failure to follow-up. Use every opportunity to send a follow-up personal note, a thank you, a congratulations, or a relevant article of information.

10. WORK!

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. Remember WORK makes up the better part of Networking.


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