4. Communicating Performance Expectations
Job descriptions are not enough. Performance expectations must be explained. That requires face-to-face discussion.
Verify your employee understands your expectations. Have him repeat them back to you in his own words. If he is catching on to what you're trying to communicate, he should have questions. When he doesn't have questions, assume he doesn't understand your expectations. Repeat these conversations as many times as necessary.
Keep an eye on performance. When performance slips, remind your employee of his job responsibilities your performance expectations.
5. Monitoring the Market's Wage Rate
You are in competition for good workers. You compete on many different fronts, the two primary ones being wage rate and work hours. You need to keep a close eye on what the market is paying for people of like skill. Paying below that rate is risky and will most likely leave you with an under-motivated or under-skilled staff. You can't afford either.
6. Dismissing Non-Performers
One of the biggest challenges employers face is terminating non-performers. The fear of the unknown makes owners hesitate to pull the trigger. They usually figure that the devil they know is better than the one they don't. They figure a firing, no matter how justifiable, will hurt morale. T
Here's the rub: good workers can't stand working along side bad workers.
It's your responsibility to fire a poor worker, not theirs. It's your company and they expect you to staff it properly.
If one of your workers is falling short of performance expectations and you think letting him go might be the right course of action, go talk to the people he works with before you make your final decision. They'll give you an honest answer and more often than not it will be: get rid of him.
7. Developing Employee Skills
When you implement systems that help employees develop their skills you benefit in three ways:
- They work faster.
- Their loyalty to your company increases greatly.
- You increase the pool of potential employees your company can hire.
You need a system for evaluating skills, setting skill development goals, and creating learning opportunities.
Raising the skills of your existing staff is the surest way to improve your competitive position and bottom line.
8. Rewarding Superior Performance
Something often forgotten by business owners: the company isn't just theirs - it is everyone's who works there.
What that means is when the company succeeds, the success should be shared with the employees who made it happen. When success isn't shared, dissatisfaction and jealousy start spreading like a wild fire.
You need a system for legitimately identifying and rewarding superior performance. The systems needs to be simple explain and easy to understand.
It takes more than skills to be a high performer. It takes a solid work ethic, a sense of duty, and focus on the job at hand.
Those characteristics are somewhat rare and need to be rewarded. By rewarding them, you make the employee feel valued and you help set an example for their co-workers.
When you fail to reward superior performance, you send the message that all performance is equal. That's a bad message to send. It de-motivates the better workers and emboldens the poorer ones.
9. Promoting the Right People
Selecting the right person for promotion is tricky. Here's why: the skill set demanded by the higher position is often far different than the skill set needed at the lower position. Often, people who excel at the lower position are wired to fail at the higher one.
The opposite is also true. Great leaders and managers often make horrible front-line workers. Selection is not as easy as "This guy is my best worker so he's the one I should promote." Your system for choosing someone for promotion should be as thorough as your system for selecting someone to join your company.
You need a system that helps you accurately determine an employee's real skill set. Then you need to compare the skills of your employees against the demands of the position. The best match is the one who should be promoted.