This is the second of a new series of articles – positive mindsets for a positive future. Over the next few weeks I will explore some of the most frequent questions I get asked as a business coach and focus on both the challenges and opportunities each one presents.
No-one starts their own business thinking it will be easy. There will be many challenges along the way. Very often the difference between business success and failure will depend entirely on how you approach those challenges and reframe them into opportunities.
Today my focus is on staff and recruitment. This is an area that worries many people.
Some sole traders are happy to remain working for themselves but many think about recruiting staff and building small teams.
The opportunities in growing your team are many:
Employing others is a great responsibility and should not be entered into lightly. Getting the right people will take time and can be frustrating. Recruiting people is a skill – if you are not sure of how to do it then look for help from your local Chamber of Commerce or business organisation. In a future article I will focus on the specific issues of employing family and friends which bring another set of opportunities and challenges!
If you employ people, there are some key things you must do, following recruitment:
Make sure they go through an effective induction process and are given a clear job description that they understand!
Develop a training plan with each staff member and invest in their development. Help your staff set personal goals as well as work ones. These might include family goals.
Review progress regularly, celebrate achievements and help people learn from their mistakes.
Listen to your people and take a genuine interest in them and their ideas – we are all capable of thinking and we all have thoughts about our workplaces even if we don’t always voice them.
Make the working environment interesting, safe and comfortable.
Involve them in the business and seek their ideas.
Take an interest in your people and their families – the more you care abut them, the more they will care about your business and the more productive they will be.
Trust your staff – if you don’t trust them then don’t employ them!
If you are building a team, try for diversity – people from different backgrounds, ages, gender, experiences, cultures all contribute to an interesting team experience.
Being a successful employer takes effort and sometimes the match will not work for the employer or the employee. It will take time but the rewards are many and significant. Your business could grow more quickly than if you are on your own; you will be providing an income for others; you might be offering opportunities to people in your community or family; if you employ young people you are helping to build the talent of the future.
If you need help with recruitment or employing people or you want some feedback on your own practices, then please get in touch.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. As always, please contact me if you have an interesting story to tell and are happy for it to be told. More challenges and opportunities next week.
Breadfruit Consulting (www.breadfruitconsulting.com) is a Vanuatu-based business providing advice, training, coaching, and mentoring to businesses throughout the Pacific islands. Breadfruit specialises in a range of business development activities including ‘business continuity planning and action’, helping businesses to survive in a crisis, designing and starting new, sustainable businesses. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Founding partner at Breadfruit Consulting.