Strategic Guidance for Small Businesses
If you are considering employing people to work for your company, this is a fantastic achievement because it means you are experiencing demands for your service or product. But make sure you really need to employ someone full time. First consider whether it’s a permanent requirement, seasonal or temporary, or even part-time. Think about what their continued employment is reliant upon and with the very best of foresight that the requirement is going to continue.
You’ll also be thinking about all the practical elements of becoming an employer, such as the job you’re creating, what the salary will be, and how to advertise and select someone. And then of course you must provide them with a written contract of employment, carry out some background checks, inform the HMRC, and decide how you are going to pay them. And don’t forget your employers’ liability insurance and swotting up on all those employment rights!
But what else must you consider?
You may not be able to afford paying a highly competitive salary (think about cash flow, employees need the same basic pay each month), therefore you need to create a different selling point. Sell the benefits of working for a small business instead. Benefits such as involvement, learning how businesses run, variety of tasks, flexibility, truly feeling part of something, easily able to identify individual contribution and the achievement of helping to build a business. Consider bonuses to share when profits are good due to their contribution. Praise and recognise, include them in business articles, post their achievements on social media or news publications.
And now - here is the point I want to get to -
Have you considered what type of employer you will be?
What does your company value internally or what do you want it to value? What conduct or behaviours will you expect from the people who work for you? What internal working culture would you like to start to develop for your company?. Have you created a mission statement yet? What type of boss do you want to be? What do your customers love about you and how can you make sure this is also delivered by your new employee?
Don’t underestimate how important it is to get this right. You’ve worked your socks off to build your business, your brand, your reputation and you cannot afford for anything to affect that. Articulating this to your employee is essential. You need to help your new employee understand what is expected of them, not just in the work they carry out but the behaviours they demonstrate internally and externally with customers. This will help them to be successful in their role.
Small companies cannot afford to carry under-performing employees. Nor can they accommodate any form of unprofessional conduct as any damage to reputation, morale, productivity, or service can be devastatingly damaging far more quickly. So, draw up a mission statement, a list of company values, and expected conduct and behaviours. Explain to your employee what type of company and employer you are. Explain how much you need them as they are helping you to run your business, and they are an additional face to front your business. Explain the importance of this and be quick to talk to them if things aren’t going the way you want them to. Don’t let it fester, be open and honest and start to build that open dialogue and trust.
Try and find someone who shares your values and hire for attitude and potential. Someone you instantly feel comfortable with and you could trust. Knowledge and skills can improve and be developed, and in a way that compliments YOUR business.
Written by Rachel Gilbert
Motivate HR Ltd