“PCG Business Bulldozer”
This month: More on Staffing and Staff Management
Our last newsletter on HR strategies was well received – it seems a number of our small business subscribers have been having staffing challenges. This month, we want to focus on employee management and how to avoid common personnel issues in the workplace. Most typical employee/employer troubles can be avoided by taking positive, proactive action, making certain you have the right resources and tools in place before you or your staff need them, such as established policies and procedures and a well-crafted employee handbook. In fact, avoiding staffing problems starts at the recruiting stage by hiring employees who are a good cultural fit for your company.
Avoiding Staff Management Issues
Your best approach to avoid challenges with your staff is to eliminate the guesswork. If you spell out the expectations for your staff members and make sure you have a clear set of performance guidelines and company policies and procedures, then you have set a solid baseline to measure staff performance. You need to outline your expectations in advance, not only because it eliminates the guesswork for your staff, but it also helps you better understand your own staffing strategy to accommodate growth. Here are just a few proactive staffing strategies to consider:
- Staffing blueprint – Take a hard look at your staffing needs and determine if you need to hire, outsource, or broaden responsibilities for staff members. You want to make sure you are balancing your staffing needs with business growth and cash flow, and you want to make sure you can provide key employees with opportunities for advancement and growth.
- Job descriptions – Once you have a firm handle on your staffing requirements, be sure to document those needs with solid job descriptions that outline roles and expectations.
- Employee evaluations – As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure, so you need to have a well-defined employee evaluation procedure in place. Be sure you have a protocol for regular review, including a means for employees to challenge the review findings with a neutral party.
- Employee Policies and Procedures – All employees are expected to conform to a specified code of conduct, and you need to specify those expectations in an employee handbook and written policies and procedures. If you provide written guidelines, then there is no excuse for noncompliance.
Every business needs an employee handbook outlining policies and procedures specifically created to suit its operations and its employees. A cheap handbook template, while it may cover the minimum compliance requirements, won’t be able to address unique cultural, budgetary, or operational needs. The employee handbook is usually the first place that workers go for information about important things such as vacation time, expense reports, sick leave, health insurance, etc. Therefore the handbook and personnel policies need to provide both a positive first impression, and enough information to direct employees to the right supporting documents and resources. Read more.
Policies and Procedures are the strategic link between the Company’s vision, and its day-to-day operations. Why is this important to you? Simply put, well-written policies & procedures allow employees to clearly understand their roles and responsibilities within predefined limits, and allow management to guide operations without constant intervention. Constant intervention equates to increase operating expenses that ultimately detract from your company’s profitability, so ask yourself: What is the current state of my company’s written policies and procedures? If they are limited – or even non-existent – it isn’t too late to take advantage of tools and techniques many of your competitors have and are using successfully to grow their business and market share. Read more.
When you are launching a new company, staffing can be your greatest investment, and the decisions you make are likely to have a tremendous impact on the success of your start-up. However, many entrepreneurs enter into their new venture without a clear human resources plan. Having a plan doesn’t just mean identifying key employees and decision-makers; that’s easy. It means having an HR strategy in place that is both compliant with the law, and is designed to attract and retain the talent you need to succeed. Read more.
March 2011 Newsletter
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Copyright 2011, Pacific Crest Group, All rights reserved.