Owning a business does not automatically make you a great leader or manager of people, but the ability to lead and manage people is necessary to success. Below are some tips and reminders that can help. First consider this quote:
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight Eisenhower
How do you do this? You have to do all you can to ensure they love their job and want to keep it. They should not want to be there only for the paycheck, but also because they enjoy being there. How is this accomplished?
Do Unto Others
There is a fine line between putting the business first and losing great employees. Caring about the business is a necessary part of business, of course. What is often forgotten however is that a business is only as good the people that work for it. Good help is hard to find… and even harder to keep. Remember to keep the feelings and desires of employees in mind, within reason. They have lives outside of the job that must be tended to, and try to be sensitive to that. You will ensure your personal issues are tended to, so you should offer that same courtesy to employees without consequence. Again, remember this is within reason. If the situation is taken advantage of it is likely they were not good employees in the first place. The goal is to keep good employees, and offering flexibility where possible is a great way to do this.
Explain and Train
Make certain their jobs are understandable and meaningful to them. They need to know how to do what they do, and how it affects the business. Employees who feel what they do is not important or that do not know how to do their jobs properly will quickly become discouraged and frustrated. This helps no one. They will not be doing their best and eventually they will stop trying, causing the business to suffer. Take the time and do what is necessary to train them. Let them in on why you are asking them to do whatever it is they are doing, even if it seems obvious. For example, if they think straightening racks during slow times is just busy work, explain that what customers see when they walk in is the very important first impression and can make a different in whether or not they make a purchase or even stay.
Training can be costly, so consider a small business line of credit or some other financing option if needed to ensure you can give your employees the proper training. Biz2Credit.com and other similar sites connect borrowers with banks, credit unions, and other alternative lenders that offer these types of products as well as small business growth and small business capital loans.
If your business is profitable, a lot of that is due to good help. You cannot run a profitable business with bad employees. Share the good fortune as much as possible. Offer bonuses, sales incentives, raise pay when appropriate, and even consider profit sharing in some form. At the very least buy a lunch now and then or show appreciation for hard work in other ways. Express appreciation verbally, but remember actions speak louder than words.
Take care of good employees and it will not be hard them to do what you need them to do. They will want to do it because they are happy to be working for you.
This article was submitted by Faith Stewart. Faith Stewart has a BBA with a major in accounting and spent 10 years working in the various aspects of accounting and finance before pursuing her passion for writing.