Running a business should be easy. You have a great idea and a killer marketing strategy. Customers trickle in then flood in, ready to buy your product or service. Profits are up, and you’re busy. Of course, this is where your role in the business is about to take a dramatic turn. You’re so busy, you need to hire people to take care of your orders. Maybe you hire a team to take care of the customers? Next, you’ll need a team to take care of all those marketing campaigns to keep the momentum going. But who on earth is taking care of all these new recruits?
Managing a lot of new people all at once is never easy. You can’t just hire someone else to do it. First, you need to show your employees the ropes. You need to train them and bring them up to a level of competency you’re happy with. In the meantime, you’re handling recruitment, leave applications, sick absence, and the odd colleague to colleague spat. You started this business to flex your creative muscles and live the dream of an easy life. Now you’re just handling personnel problems!
If managing people is taking over your life at work right now, you need to find solutions. It’s not always possible to allocate the cash to hire a high-end manager to take care of the people you recruit. The people you are bringing in need to be carefully vetted too, so you know they’ll be the perfect fit. After all, you’re creating a culture here, not just a brand that customers love!
Apps and software
If calculating leave allowances is taking up too much of your time, it is possible to automate it. HR employee software offers you a quick and easy way for your workers to book leave. Any clashes that leave you short of staff will be flagged. This type of service can even help you develop shift and rota plans for your part-time workforce.
You can also use standardized messaging services to stay connected with your employees when you’re not in the building with them. This can free up your time and commitments considerably. It means you can go out to meet clients or suppliers without having to worry about what is going on back in the office.
If you use collaborative working systems in the cloud, you can easily see what each employee is working on at any point in time. This means you can add a few comments or make edits from anywhere in the world in real time. Add video calling to your business toolkit, and you can be on hand for a face-to-face no matter where you are or what you’re doing! Best of all, you can find many of these facilities are available for free.
Mentoring and coaching
Part of your business culture aspirations might include a mentoring or coaching approach to staff development. This is a great idea for the busy manager hoping to grow their business. You don’t want to be bogged down in personnel issues. Instead, use approaches like mentoring to foster more meaningful workplace relationships. Setting this up can take time. You might want to select candidates during the recruitment process that have experience with this.
Coaching is a different matter. If you’re coaching a member of staff, you need to spend enough time with them to help them acquire the skills and qualities you want them to achieve. You need to watch them in action and correct any problems. Usually, company bosses leave this to a line manager. If that happens to be you, then this might not be the best approach to develop your workforce. Does this mean you should abandon the idea?
Developing the workforce
If you hire people with years of experience and proven track records, you’re going to have an enormous HR bill! Most entrepreneurs getting their business off the ground have little capital. There is little in the books to suggest the business is even viable. That means you might not be able to hire a full-time workforce at all. Instead, you might consider recruiting on a part-time basis. Even if you use an agency, you can start to develop the best candidates with the aim of recruiting them once their performance is covering the salary.
Developing new people is also easier than trying to mold an experienced employee into doing things your way. However, if you don’t have the time, and you don’t have experience of developing teams, then you might need to recruit someone to do this for you. Training and development are really important if you want good people working well in your business. You need something in place just to avoid chaos! Having an enthusiastic and motivated team that is interested in a career with you could be just the thing to really get your business going places.
Managing the managers
Once you have your trusted managers in place, it really is down to you to manage them! It’s easier if you make it clear how you like things to work. If you prefer your team to come to you with solutions rather than problems, make that clear. If you like weekly round-ups or summaries, book that in everyone’s calendar from day one recurring. And if you like to get on the shop floor and watch a team in action, find a way to make that a positive experience for the managers.
Managers that blame problems on the people under them aren’t doing enough to help their team raise their game. Your managers should be taking responsibility and action. They should ensure each of their teams is operating efficiently and profitably. Sure, we all make mistakes, and we all have off-weeks. But you don’t have time to hear the whingeing and complaining. So how are you going to tackle this?
It’s not easy becoming a business owner with employees after building your company up from the ground. Your role will continue to change. If you enjoy the thrill of starting up, why not concentrate on getting another business going? Leave the challenges of people management to someone else!
*This is a contributed post