Question: What one employee management tip would you give entrepreneurs who are building their team?
Question by: Alex
Take Time to Train Them
"Many entrepreneurs have the deluded expectation that an employee should show up able to do their job. No matter how competent they are, an employee will require training and integration time. An added upshot, thinking about employee training cycles and growth paths really gets you thinking about how to grow your company."
Create an Entrance Interview
"We've created some documents for new employees to fill out right when they start about how they like to work, be rewarded, have meetings, etc. By having this written down, it gives our whole team an understanding of how new team members might fit in and creates a better work culture."
Project Management Systems Save
"Entrepreneurs can keep the big picture in their head, but employees need to have the details in front of them. A good project management software is a great way to keep the team focused and on task. Efficiency and productivity increase when you measure accountability with project management software."
You Don't Need a Manager!
"Teach and empower your employees by giving them parameters to help them do their job autonomously. A sales rep doesn't need a script, she must understand what makes a product valuable to a customer, and the many ways to point out those benefits. A service rep does not need a "company policy" to refer to, but rather a strategy for solving problems so the client is satisfied."
Set Quarterly Themes and Visions
"Our first year in business, we just did business day-to-day. But we found that even though we were doing awesome things, sometimes we got stuck in a groove because we weren't shooting for a big goal. So we started setting a quarterly theme for our company. This theme goes into everything we do those three months, and everyone is focused on making that goal a reality. It helps focus efforts."
Open Door Policy
"Employees (especially new ones) are bound to make more mistakes than necessary if they feel they can't ask you questions or get your feedback. Make sure you are accessible and available as much as possible. Literally, keep your door open to give the impression that anyone can visit to bounce an idea or ask a question of you."
Culture Is King
"Put your employees first, and they will take better care of your customers. As you are building your team, you must define what the inside of your company is going to look like. Your internal brand ultimately dictates how the company is represented on the outside. If you try to design the customer experience first, it will be forced and unnatural. Try to design the employee experience first."
Hire to Get Stuff Done
"A small company cannot tolerate people who are lazy, procrastinate or are unable to use limited resources to push forward projects. You need people who can follow through, find clever solutions and workarounds with a sense of urgency, and can take charge of a problem and drive it to a successful solution."
"I’m always very honest with my team regarding financials and clients. In this economy, it’s important to be upfront with folks in every aspect of the business -- particularly when you’re first getting started. Young professionals enjoy being an integral part of the planning and decision-making process, and it can also help them better understand how the business is run."
Share How To Kick Butt
"I'm working on this, but it's become obvious that letting someone know how to kick butt increases the likelihood that they will do so. Smart, talented people want to feel smart and talented, and that's on you as a business leader. Entrepreneurs are often self-motivated and we forget that getting the most out of people means showing them how to succeed."
Encourage Openness and Honesty
"You never want your employees to be afraid to tell you the truth. You can encourage openness and honesty by: 1) Responding calmly when they tell you something has not gone as you expected 2) Talking through a plan for moving forward 3) Agreeing on follow up and accountability."
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently published #FixYoungAmerica: How to Rebuild Our Economy and Put Young Americans Back to Work (for Good), a book of 30+ proven solutions to help end youth unemployment.