Monday February 15, 2021
Ready to hire your very first employee? If so, congratulations! This is an important business milestone. Prepare yourself for a whole new set of challenges, but if you can learn to manage your first employee effectively, you’ll be in a great position to continue growing your team and your business!
Management doesn’t always come easily, but I maintain that anyone can learn how to do it. In Part 1 of this blog, I shared 6 tips to help ensure your new employee will actually save you time, rather than taking up more of your time.
In Part 2, I’ll share my tips for helping your employee grow as a confident, productive member of your team, as well as what to do if they eventually move on in their career.
Clarify Processes, Policies, & Procedures
The key to success in a growing business is organization. As a solopreneur, you undoubtedly had tons of systems and processes in place to ensure that priorities got tackled, tasks didn’t fall through the cracks, and your time was used efficiently. Now it’s time to scale that up. Your new employee needs all the information you have to follow processes and procedures, especially if they're a remote employee. Managing remote employees may be daunting, but organization is the key.
Before your employee’s first day, spend some time thinking about your systems and processes. Which ones work really well? Which ones need a revisit? Which ones work well when it’s just you, but will fall apart when tasked to a new recruit? Do all you can to ensure your processes are air airtight and well-documented.
When your new employee starts, you’ll inevitably find inefficiencies with your company processes, but the better-prepared you are, the easier it will be to make adjustments. Also, if all your processes are well-documented, it’ll be easier to identify and weed them out.
Having these processes laid out clearly will also help encourage your employees to document their actions each day. As a manager, the better your employees’ work is documented, the less time you have to spend getting status updates in one-on-one meetings and the more time you can spend being proactive about growing the business.
Have employees track their time, even if they aren’t paid hourly. This will help you to understand and better manage where employee time is being spent. I also recommend having your employees document all interactions with customers, progress on tasks, and, of course, any sales they make.
Plan Their First Successes
Nothing boosts confidence like success, and confident employees are the first step in taking some of the load off of you. Confident employees will be able to direct themselves, make important decisions, and lend charisma to your business. So it’s crucial to give new employees a taste of success as soon as possible.
Have some assignments ready for them that you know they’ll be able to complete on their first day, and devote some time to discussing your goals for the position and theirs.
As much as possible, avoid having the first day be a day full of unimportant “busy-work.” Instead, an “engagement-heavy” first day, where your new employee works on meaningful tasks, will instill much more confidence.
Using a workflow management software will allow you to task staff and encourages employees to self-learn and self-direct, again boosting confidence. Whether you're managing remote employees or in-office employees, the tasking system is the best way to encourage and motivate your team.
Unchain From the Office
If you chose your new hire carefully and implement the tips from this blog post, as well as Part 1, you’ll quickly develop a self-sufficient, empowered, confident employee. Once they’ve built some trust with you, you might be able to get even more productivity out of your employee by allowing them to incorporate some flexibility into their scheduling.
Allowing your employees to work remotely, when and where they’re most productive, has both short-term and long-term benefits.
- Take advantage of your employees’ most productive hours, even if those aren’t between 9 and 5
- Increase your odds of having employees stay with you for the long haul
- Make your team more resilient against things like flu bugs, snow days, and technical difficulties by making work from home an option on those days
Future-Proof the Position
The unfortunate reality is, not everyone you hire will be able to stick around forever. Turnover can be a common and frustrating problem for small business owners, but you can reduce your turnover costs by investing in tools that make it easy for someone to fill the previous employee’s shoes.
As a lifelong small business owner, I’ve seen my fair share of turnover, and I’ve built systems to ease the burden on your business when an employee leaves. If your previous employee made good use of documenting how their time was spent, their relationships with clients, and their progress on projects, it’s easy for a new hire to pickup right where the previous employee left off.
Losing an employee is never easy, but I suggest that you implement documentation policies to ensure that you don’t lose all the information, leads, and projects they were working on. Documentation is key to developing confident, empowered employees, from onboarding to exit interview, which is why I recommend implementing systems as the central hub of your business’s communication.
If you see the need for this, but need help getting started, contact me for a free 15 minute strategy sessionl where I will show you just how easy it is!