Your staff members are the backbone of your business, your front line team who are dealing with customers on a daily basis and forming the first impression of your business.
As employers it can be easy to forget this at times, making crucial mistakes that not only cost your business in productivity and profit, but also greatly affect the culture, contentment and loyalty of your team.
To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, here are the six most common mistakes employers make with their staff.
Mistake #1 – Under training staff
One of the most costly mistakes employers make is to under train their staff. The better equipped your team is to handle their role, the more productive they will be, the fewer errors they will make and the less supervision they will require, saving you both time and money.
While you may question “what if I train them and they leave?” the real question to ask is “what if I don’t train them and they stay?” What would be worse for your business?
Training your team is an investment in your business and to give you greater peace of mind, employees that are given training and advancement opportunities in most cases are more loyal to their employers.
Mistake #2 – Not communicating clearly
The clearer you communicate with your employees the greater chance there is of them carrying through your requests properly.
For this reason have a detailed position description and a thorough induction so your employees know exactly what their job entails and what is expected of them.
The same also goes for delegating tasks and deadlines. Make sure you state exactly what work you need done, by when and the maximum time you would like them to spend on it.
Mistake #3 – Reprimanding too quickly and praising too slowly
Another common mistake is to reprimand staff too quickly and praise too slowly – or not at all.
A lot of employers fall in to the trap of seeing everything an employee isn’t doing rather than what they are doing. So they reprimand them. They tell them how they could have done it better.
Soon the employee starts to associate every conversation with the employer as negative. The employee becomes resentful because they aren’t being recognised for all the good work they are doing. So they don’t try as hard. The employer reprimands more and the destructive cycle starts again until the employee leaves – and they won’t be the only ones.
To make sure you don’t become the impossible-to-please boss, always look to praise and reward you employees for their hard work. This way when it comes to reprimanding them or offering feedback for improvement they will still feel like a valued part of your team.
Mistake #4 – No clear KPI’s
Key performance indicators (KPI’s) are necessary to test, measure and evaluate your staff members’ progress and performance.
Put simply, KPI’s will help you determine if they are in fact the right person for the job, if they need more training and assistance and if the job role specified is what you are needing and what they can fulfill.
Mistake #5 – Not putting the right people in the right job
In Good to Great Jim Collins says “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” His powerful yet simplistic logic says it all.
While you may have gone to every effort to ensure the right people are in your business, they may not be in the right positions and their true skills and abilities might be under utilised.
Talk to your employees, find out what they are passionate about, what they enjoy most about their job, and what they enjoy least or struggle with. Ask them what they think their strengths and weaknesses are. By doing so you may uncover hidden skills and abilities that you could be using in your business and make your staff happier and more inspired in the process.
Mistake #6 – Not doing regular performance reviews
Often employers see performance reviews as being too hard to implement and staff see them as “an opportunity to get into trouble”. Though what many employers fail to realise is that performance reviews will give both them and their staff clarity on where the business is going and everyone’s input in achieving this.
By reviewing your staff at least every six months with structured assessments and KPI’s and clear task allocation, and getting buy-in from the staff member, you can significantly improve productivity.
If you turn these meetings into a “how can we help our staff grow” opportunity instead of a “what are they doing wrong” meeting your team will grow quicker, remain more accountable and support your business growth.
Are you making any of these mistakes as an employer? What actions could you take today to start rectifying them?