Hiring and managing staff is one of the biggest struggles of a growing business. Even if you've hired what look like the "right" people on paper, once they're in the door and comfortable, if you're not training and monitoring in the right way, it won't take long for you to lose control.
Here are three ways to take back control from unruly staff:
1) develop an employee handbook: as soon as you have five employees, it's time to have written policies and procedures. A handbook is the place to outline your needs and expectations. Setting clear expectation is the first step to happy employees. If you send mixed messages at the leader, set clarity with written policies.
2) have formal, regular reviews. Many times we help employers who have half a dozen employees and they are never reviewing anyone's performance. For those that are holding review, the record keeping is usually very sloppy. Empower your employees to have input in their reviews and set goals. Make sure goals are followed up on at subsequent reviews. It becomes difficult to fire employees who have no history of unflattering reviews or no documentation in their employment file of problems.
3) nip problems in the bud. If your employees are constantly late, on their personal phones all the time, and not being as productive as you'd like, you need to tell them ASAP. Don't wait until a review or a "better time." There isn't a better time, and looking the other way from bad behavior only serves to reinforce it.
If you're struggling to control your staff, sometimes you're the problem, not them. If you don't have clear documents, clear policies and regular reviews in place, it's time to get everything buttoned up and establish some real HR procedures. If you need help getting your employment ducks in a row, reach out to our office for a flat fee employment package.
Sarah E. Holmes is a Philadelphia business attorney and strategist that helps start ups and established businesses looking to expand, protect their assets and increase their profits in an approachable, down-to-earth way. When you're looking for a business lawyer near you, we offer several convenient locations.