Do you remember Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail? Ryan’s character owned a small bookstore, The Shop Around the Corner. It was her pride and joy; the motor that kept her going every day.
Having your own business is the crown jewel of your professional life. However, no matter how skilled you are, as your business grows, you’re going to have to rely on employees to work with you as a team.
But how do you do this? How can you make sure that (a) you hire the right people, and (b) that those working for you care as much about your business’ success as you do?
1. Network. Cultivating relationships with professionals within your field means you’ll have a pool of potential candidates when the need arises. Take advantage of LinkedIn. Browse through contacts and contacts of contacts; and ask your mutual connections to facilitate meetings.
2. Sell them on your ideals. If you have a startup, you might not yet have the necessary cash flow to recruit the best talent. But if you sell them on what makes your business great, your goals, and how they can use their expertise and passions to make a difference, the enthusiasm will follow. Develop clear mission and visions statements, and know (and share!) the core values of your company.
When Steve Jobs wanted to recruit then Pepsi executive John Scully to work at still nascent Apple, he asked him: “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?” It worked.
3. Assign tasks based on their strengths. Employees will put in more effort and have more pride in their work if their duties are something they enjoy doing. The result will be higher productivity and more job satisfaction.
4. Allow telecommuting. This one will depend greatly on the nature of your business. But if there are circumstances that might reasonably keep them away from the office, yet the work can be done from home, allow for that flexibility.
In fact, employees are more willing to take a pay cut if they have the option to work from home. You save money; they get a work-life balance. It’s a win-win situation.
5. Treat employees with respect. Yes, they’re there to work for your company and to make it thrive; but if you make them feel like replaceable means to an end, the office morale will be low, and you’ll have a turnover rate as high as McDonald’s. This is not only expensive and time consuming, but it also speaks volumes about your business: if people are constantly quitting, it’s going to reflect badly on you. Take good care of your employees, and they’ll take good care of your business.
You’ve invested so much time, effort, and money into becoming an entrepreneur. Happy, productive employees are part of the well-oiled machine. Choose wisely.
This Blog was written by Hunter Business Law Founder, Attorney Sheryl Hunter. View her profile HERE.
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